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If someone talks about suicide, take it seriously. Friends or a family member may tell you they are thinking of killing themselves and ask that you keep it a secret. This is a secret you cannot keep. You can be a better friend or relative by telling someone—a parent, teacher, counselor, clergy, or someone who will listen and believe you. You might also encourage the person talking about suicide to talk to an adult he or she trusts.

If you think someone may be suicidal, don’t be afraid to ask. Mention- ing suicide will not give people the idea or push them over the edge; it can actually prevent it from occurring. A suicidal person is not beyond help, in fact, the crisis period usually lasts a short time. With the proper help a suicidal person can get better.

Examples of suicide related questions:


Has this person shown any of the following warning signs?

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

giving away prized possessions doing poorly in school talking about wanting to die isolating themselves from family and friends taking unnecessary risks abusing drugs or alcohol sudden happiness after lengthy depression Feeling hopeless

! ! ! ! !


Has this person ever threatened or attempted suicide before? Does this person have a plan to commit suicide? Ask—Are you planning your suicide? Ask—Are you thinking about killing yourself? Ask—When people are in as much pain as you seem to be, they sometimes want to end their life. Are you feeling that way? Ask—You seem very unhappy, are you thinking about ending your life?

“If you think someone may be suicidal, don’t be afraid to ask”


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