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How to Help Someone Who Is Threatening Suicide
  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter of factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad. Don't lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don't dare him or her to do it.
  • Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
  • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.


  • National Hotline for Children and Parents: 1-800-448-3000 (Sponsored by Boys Town; bilingual crisis intervention hotline)
  • Suicide Awareness\Voices of Education (SAVE): 1-612-946-7998
  • American Association of Suicidology:
  • Light for Life Foundation of America: 1-302-429-3530
  • Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network: 1-888-649-1366
  • Suicide Information and Education Centre: (no number; it is located in Canada)