Be an Ally

Written by The Nan Project

What should I do if I think a friend is considering suicide?

To help your friend or relative, talk to them and encourage them to open up.

  • Never ignore or dismiss comments about suicide. Always report them to a trusted adult. This could be your caregiver, teacher, school’s guidance counselor, school nurse, coach, or even your doctor. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
  • Recognize the symptoms of suicide ideation and depression.
  • Calmly ask them if they want to or intend to harm themselves. Seek immediate professional help if they do.
  • Listen carefully with empathy and support, and acknowledge/validate the pain or sadness they are suffering.
  • Discourage isolation and invite your loved one out for walks, outings, and other activities. Keep trying even if he or she declines, but don’t push them to take on too much too soon.
  • Remind them how much you care for them and that they are not alone.
  • Don’t give up hope on them, treatment is available and it may take time to find the right fit.
  • Never keep secrets about self-harm or suicide ideation.