Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

If you’re having thoughts of suicide or have a friend who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Don’t stress; the call is confidential and free. Do it immediately.

Key Points:

  • If a friend mentions suicide or self-harm, take them seriously. If you think they are in imminent danger, call 911 or contact the poison control center immediately. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for people 24 and younger.
  • Learn to recognize dangerous signs of suicide. If your friend has talked about feeling hopeless or anxious, or that they have big changes in behavior? These can be signs of suicide.
  • Initiate dialogue in a non-judgmental way. Sit down in a comfortable or familiar environment and talk privately and freely. Express your concerns honestly and clearly.
  • React with feeling. If your friend shares thoughts of suicide, your job is to listen rather than to argue or give advice. Find out why your friend is hurting.
  • Shift the focus from sources of pain to resources for treatment. Your friend may require professional care for illnesses like depression or anxiety.
  • Stay connected. Even after your friend has sought help, stay involved and encourage others to stay connected as well. Suicides tend to occur during periods of apparent improvement, so it’s important not to leave a suicidal person to themselves.

Quote This:

Your friend’s life is more important than their privacy.

See Also: Friendship, Just for Young Adults, Suicide

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Do you have a friend or family member who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or self-harm? Explain.
  3. Why is it hard to talk to a loved ones who are struggling with suicide or self-harm?
  4. What are your biggest fears for that person? What have you done thus far to help?
  5. Why is it important to speak in a non-judgemental way? What are some examples of things you shouldn’t say to someone who is possibly suicidal?
  6. Of the five pieces of advice provided in this topic, which do you think is the most important, or which one stands out most to you? Explain.
  7. Who else needs to know about this friend/family member to make sure they get the right help?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.