Talking about suicide can ...

be scary.
be difficult.
be painful.
be exactly what someone needs.
be done safely.
save a life.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. When done safely, talking about suicide can be the difference between life and death.

Our quick reference guide can help you know what to do, what to avoid, and how to feel confident when having these critical conversations.

Know the Warning Signs

Check for these warning signs to determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.

  • Talking about wanting to die or killing themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Repetitive stressful events
  • Extreme mood swings

If a friend or loved one is considering suicide ...

  • Be direct and talk openly with them
  • Listen and allow them to express their feelings
  • Get involved and make yourself available to them
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available
  • Take action to remove lethal means
  • Encourage them to seek help from a licensed professional

If a friend or loved one is considering suicide, DON'T ...

  • Be judgmental, debate them or lecture them.
  • Dare them to do it.
  • Act shocked - this will put distance between you.
  • Allow them to swear you to secrecy.

Don't wait until you're in crisis to reach out.

Get Help