How to Help a Suicidal Friend

If you know someone who is having suicidal thoughts, you can step in and make a huge difference. This LifeGuide will help you respond with confidence to a friend or loved one in need of help.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause of death for people ages 35-54 in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). This means more people die from suicide than other leading causes of death such as homicide, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

But unlike these other causes of death, suicide is preventable. All of the lives lost could have been prevented, and future suicides can be, as well.  The majority of individuals who attempt suicide will have created a plan for it ahead of time. Their intent is serious and calculated, and they are a danger to themselves. 

You can choose to see this as a threat to shrink back from, or you can choose to see this as a window of opportunity. Hear this truth: YOU can help a suicidal friend. Let us help you feel more comfortable with this uncomfortable topic. 

The purpose of this LifeGuide is to help you:

  1. Recognize the signs of someone who is thinking about suicide 
  1. Equip you to have a conversation with your friend about your concern
  1. Prepare you with an action plan to help a suicidal friend
  • Provide resources for you to share with the person having suicidal thoughts
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