How Can I Help Someone Who is Suicidal?

  • Take all threats or attempts seriously
  • Be aware and learn warning signs of suicide
  • Be direct and ask if the person is thinking of suicide.  If the answer is yes, ask if the person has a plan and what the time line is.
  • Be non-judgmental and empathic
  • Do not minimize the feelings expressed by the person
  • Do not be sworn to secrecy …seek out the support of appropriate professionals
  • Ask if there is anything you can do
  • Draw on resources in the person’s network
  • Do not use clichés or try to debate with the person
  • In an acute crisis take the person to an emergency room or walk in clinic or call a mobile crisis service if one is available
  • Do not leave them alone until help is provided
  • Remove any obvious means e.g. firearms, drugs or sharp objects) from the immediate vicinity

Source: International Association of Suicide Prevention