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Home > Health Library > Teens: Helping a Friend Who's Talking About Suicide
It may be scary or upsetting to hear a friend talk about wanting to die. But it gives you a chance to help. Talking to your friend about suicide doesn't make it more likely to happen. Talking about it can actually help prevent suicide.
Here are steps for helping a friend you're worried about.
Talking about suicide is a sure sign that a person needs help. But some people don't use the word suicide. They may say or write things like, "I'd rather be dead," "I can't take it anymore," or "I wish I'd never been born."
Other signs that a friend needs help include:
Not everyone has these signs. They may have others. For example, they may seem hopeless or depressed. Or they may sleep a lot, eat less, or quit caring how they look.
It may not be easy to talk about suicide, but it's important. It shows that you care. And it can help your friend feel supported. Here are some tips:
It may be hard to do, but it's important to know. The answers can help you decide what to do next. Ask if they have set a date or chosen a location. Do they have any weapons, pills, or other means of suicide? Have they tried to hurt themselves before? The more detailed their plan is, the greater the danger.
If your friend has a plan to harm themself or someone else, get help right away. Call 911 or take them to an emergency room. If you're not sure what to do, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) for advice.
But take all talk of suicide seriously. Don't agree to keep it a secret. This may not feel right, but this is too much to handle on your own and their life could be at risk.
Call or visit soon, or send a text or an email. Staying in touch shows that you care, and it helps your friend know that they're valued. Feeling connected to others can help protect people from suicide.
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral HealthLesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
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