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How to Help a Suicidal Person

  1. Listen. A common complaint made by teens and adults is that they are not understood by others, not taken seriously and that no one listens to them.

  2. Accept the person's feelings as they are. Do not try to cheer the person up by making positive, unrealistic statements.

  3. Do not be afraid to talk about suicide directly. You will not be putting ideas into the person's head. Most of the time the person has already experienced suicidal feelings. It is a dangerous practice to avoid asking a person directly if they are feeling suicidal.

  4. Also ask them if they have developed a plan of suicide. The presence of a well-developed plan indicates more serious intent.

  5. Remind the person that depressed feelings do change with time.

  6. Express your care for the person and your hope that the person will not choose suicide but instead choose to stick it out a little longer.

  7. Point out that when death is chosen, it is irreversible.

  8. Develop a plan for help with the person.

  9. If you cannot develop a plan and a suicide attempt is imminent, seek outside emergency intervention at a hospital, mental health clinic, or call The Trevor Helpline at 800-850-8078.

  10. Post The Trevor Helpline's 24-hour crisis line number by your office or home phones.