If You Know Someone Who Might Be Suicidal

If You Know Someone Who Might Be Suicidal

“ACT – Better an angry friend than a dead friend”


You Don’t Need to be an Expert to Make a Difference,  In fact, few of us are. 

What you have to overcome is a set of natural reactions to the challenge:

  • You may not know what to do. 
  • You may be afraid that you will make the person angry (or angrier). 
  • You may feel that talking about suicide will make it worse. 
  • You may be afraid of being clumsy or awkward and making a mistake that makes matters worse. 
  • You may feel that getting involved will make you responsible for whether the person lives or dies.

Unfortunately, those are all natural responses to facing the potential suicide of another person.  Few of us are trained and experienced in supporting someone who is suicidal.  That’s the bad news.


Please Note – More Resources  

There are a lot of resources at the end of this section that can provide information and guidance in supporting you as you provide support.  There are phone and text hotlines, websites and videos.  There is a lot of overlap in information (a good thing), but each source has their own approach, so check several and focus on what speaks to you.

Table of Contents


The Good News

Start Here – “Notes to a Suicidal Teen”

If in Immediate Crisis – Get Emergency Help

What to Do – Actions to Take in Emergency or Non-Emergency Situations


What to Do – Longer Term Actions

Background & Resources

Causes of Teen Suicide

Signs of Suicidal Intent

Common Misperceptions


Resources – Hotlines, Websites/Textlines & Videos

The most beautiful people we have known are those that have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.


This Site & the Larger Support Network

This site is not a substitute for emergency services, therapy, counseling or other sources of support.  

The site can be part of the network you rely on for supporting a suicidal friend or family member, but you need to add as many elements to the network as possible – supporting you and your friend or family member

The more resources that can be added to their support network – particularly over time – the better.  Take advantage of the resources offered here, but also think about connections that can be made in school, faith communities, community organizations, online support groups, the neighborhood, extended family, etc.