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How to Help a Friend

  •  Listen.
  • Help the person explore feelings.
  • Widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving and positive action.
  • Ask direct questions about the person’s intentions.  Ask if the person is considering suicide.  Ask if they have a plan.
  • Communicate your concern for the well being of the person.
  • Recommend that the person contact a mental health professional or call one yourself.


  • Do not tell them to “go ahead.”
  • Do not say everything will be all right.
  • Do not tell them about someone who “has it worse.”
  • Do not leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate.
  • Do not swear secrecy to the suicidal person


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