How can I help someone who's thinking about suicide?

If you think that someone you know shows signs of suicide, this is how you can have a conversation with them

If you know someone who shows signs of suicide, your intervention can help them understand that they are not alone, and support them to seek help. 

What you can do: 

  1. Talk to them privately and gently bring up the topic of suicide. You can ask them if the thought has crossed their mind

  2. Acknowledge their distress and thank them for sharing their thoughts with you

  3. Let them know that you are with them, and offer your support

  4. Ask them how you can help, and if there is anything specific you can do

  5. Make a pact with them – ask them if they’re willing to agree to get in touch with you the next time they have a thought of suicide

  6. Encourage them to see a mental health professional and support them through the process of seeking help

Don’t:

  1. Minimize those thoughts by saying, “It’s not as bad as you think…” or "I'm sure you can handle this if you try harder"

  2. Reassure them without knowing their situation

  3. Ask them to reconsider because of the pain it’ll cause their loved ones

  4. Tell them suicide is for the weak or is the coward’s way out

  5. Shame them or guilt them for having thoughts of suicide

  6. Tell them that suicide is not a good idea