How to Respond to Suicidal Behavior

To help your young friend or relative, talk to them and encourage them to open up.Caring

  • Offer unconditional emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
  • Talk to him or her, but hold back from asking too many questions or lecturing.
  • Listen carefully and acknowledge the pain or sadness they are suffering.
  • Never dismiss feelings, but point out realities and offer hope.
  • Be persistent, even if you are shut out initially. Gently be respectful of their comfort levels, as depression can be difficult for young people to talk about, but emphasize your concern and willingness to listen.
  • Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.
  • Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying even if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.
  • Remind them how much you care for them.

Depression is treatable. If you suspect your family member or friend is struggling with depression, help them help themselves, by encouraging them to see a trained professional.

What to do

In an Emergency, Contact:

  • —Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800)273-TALK (8255)
  • —Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic
  • —Hospital emergency room
  • —Urgent care center/clinic
  • Local 911

If you need help and want to talk to someone, call:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

For the Crisis Text Line, text "Listen" to 741-741

For the Samaritans, Call or Text (877)870-4673

For immediate crisis evaluation call the Emergency Services Program / Mobile Crisis Intervention at 1-877-382-1609 & enter your zip code; you will get the phone number of the closest ESP/MCI that serves you.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911