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Helping a Friend

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If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If he or she has expressed an immediate plan, or has access to a gun or other potentially deadly means, do not leave him or her alone. Get help immediately.

Three Life-saving Steps:

Show you care:

Let your friend know that you really care. Ask about his or her feelings.  Listen carefully to what he or she has to say. Here are some examples of how to begin the conversation:

“I’m worried about you/about how you feel.”

“You mean a lot to me and I want to help.”

“I’m here if you need someone to talk to.”

Ask the question: Are you thinking about suicide?

Talking with a friend about suicide will not put the idea into his or her head. Be direct in a caring, non-confrontational way. Here are some ways to ask the question:

“Have you ever thought about suicide?”

“Do you want to die or do you just want your problems to go away?”

Get Help:

If a friend tells you he or she is thinking of suicide, never keep it a secret, even if you're asked to. Do not try to handle the situation on your own.  You can be the most help by referring your friend to someone with the professional skills necessary to provide the help that he or she needs. You can continue to help by offering support.  Here are some ways to talk to your friend about getting help:

“I know where we can get some help.”

“Let’s talk to someone who can help. Let’s call the crisis line now.”

“I can go with you to get some help”

 

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