First Aid for Someone Having a Seizure

Suicidal Thoughts: Helping a Friend

Call 911

If you think that a friend or loved one might be suicidal, you need to take action. Always take suicidal threats seriously.

Signs that a person is at risk of committing suicide include:

  • Extreme hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Talking a lot about death or suicide
  • Trying to get access to pills, firearms, or other possible means of suicide
  • Reckless behavior
  • Giving away belongings or saying goodbye
  • Not sleeping, seeming irritable or troubled
  • Using more alcohol and drugs than usual

If you think your friend is at risk, here's what you can do:

1. Talk to Your Friend

  • Ask your friend if he or she is thinking about suicide. Be direct. Contrary to what you might assume, you can't make someone suicidal by asking about it.
  • Try to stay supportive and not judgmental.
  • Ask your friend if he or she has a specific plan in mind. When people have settled on a specific means of committing suicide, they're at higher risk.

2. Get Help

  • If you think your friend is in danger, stay with him or her if you can. Don'tleave a suicidal person alone.
  • Call 911, take the person to an emergency room, or contact a crisis hotline like 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Get support from other friends and family members, even if your friend asks you not to. It's too serious to keep secret -- and you can't keep your friend safe all on your own.
  • If your friend has been seeing a mental health professional (therapist, counselor, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist), call them and make them aware of the situation.