When Someone is Suicidal

 

What To Do When Someone Is Suicidal

There are actions you can take to help someone when warning signs of suicide are detected. Introducing the topic of suicide will not put the idea into their head, instead, the person will probably feel relief that they can finally share and talk about it. Saying things out loud may help the person actually hear it for the first time and bring a new perspective to the situation.

  • ASK THE QUESTION
    • “I have the feeling you are thinking about suicide but are having trouble bringing it up.”
    • “Are you thinking about suicide?”
    • “Sometimes people in certain situations feel suicidal. Have you been thinking about killing yourself?”
  • LISTEN
    • LISTEN AND LOOK FOR WARNING SIGNS / RISK FACTORS
    • Ask what is causing the distress
  • ASK ABOUT REASONS FOR LIVING AND PLANS FOR SUICIDE
    • Find out what is important to the person and why they may choose to live
    • “Do you have a plan to kill yourself?”
      • Ask How, Where, When, and if they have the means in place (Do they have a gun/ pills/ rope or whatever they plan to use?)
  • TAKE ACTION
    • Remove means like guns & pills
    • Offer your support in obtaining help from a professional
    • Don't leave the person alone once you have determined he or she is at risk
    • Remind the person that seeking help for depression isn't a sign of weakness and that chances for recovery are excellent
 
Bryan LGH Medical Center University of Nebraska Public Policy Center The Kim Foundation
This website was developed [in part] under a grant number 1U79SM059176-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.