When a friend or family member is feeling down for a long period of time or is behaving in an unusual way, it can be hard to know what you can do. If your friend has mentioned suicide, it’s important you tell someone who can help so that your friend can remain safe.
Check out the When your friend is talking about suicide page for more info.
Suggestions for helping. It’s important to remember that helping someone who is not ready to recognize they need help may be difficult, and the decision and responsibility for them to get help is ultimately theirs.
- Offer your support. Let your friend know you’re worried about them, and that you’re there to listen without judging them.
- Choosing when to talk. If possible, try to choose a time when you are both open to talking about serious subjects.
- Don’t ask them to cheer up or forget about it. If someone is depressed this may be impossible.
- Give it time. It might take time for your friend to accept help, either from you or someone else.
- Take care of yourself. Speak to someone you trust, such as a family member, friend, or counselor.
Finally. It’s also important to remember that even though you can offer support, you are not responsible for the actions or behavior of your friend. If they aren’t willing to help themselves it is not your fault.
Acknowledgment: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.