Friends and Family
- If someone you know is struggling emotionally or is in crisis, you can make a difference by getting them the help and support they may need. Watch for these suicide warning signs:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like researching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated, or behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
Do's when helping:
- DO talk openly about suicide
- DO be willing to listen
- DO allow expressions of feeling
- DO get involved, be available, and show interest and support
- DO remove means, such as weapons, rope, or pills
Don'ts when helping:
- Do NOT dare him or her to do something harmful
- Do NOT act shocked, judge, or "one-up" (example: "You’re having a bad day? You should hear about my day!"), as this encourages disconnection
- Do NOT be sworn to secrecy; do seek support
- Do NOT offer glib reassurance
Suicide is a scary topic, but help and education are available.
For confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Chat webpage, or text the Crisis Text Line (text START to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S., and a trained Crisis Counselor will respond quickly).
The Trevor Project offers crisis services that create a safe, accepting, and inclusive environment for youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning (LGBTQ), by phone at 1-866-488-7386, and through text (text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200, available on Thursdays and Fridays between 4 to 8 PM Eastern, and 1 to 5 PM Pacific).
A support finder with suggestions on how to find a therapist or support group, and links for finding assistance, is available through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
The AFSP also provides facilitator training for support groups , which offers a powerful way for those who have lost a loved one to suicide to connect with others.
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) explains how to discuss suicide with children. [PDF - 231 KB]
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) has produced a document, "Explaining Suicide to Children" [PDF - 130 KB] is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide
- Crisis Text Line a free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.
- Jason Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs.
- JED Foundation aims to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources.
- Samaritans USA provides hotlines, public education programs, support groups and other crisis response, outreach and advocacy programs to communities throughout the U.S.
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education works to prevent suicide through public awareness, education, stigma reduction, and by serving as a resource to those touched by suicide.
- The Trevor Project is a national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth.
- Veterans Crisis Line is a free, 24/7 confidential support for Veterans in crisis and their families and friends.
Suicide Survivor Resources
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) offers a booklet on taking care of loved ones following a suicide attempt.
- Coping With Losing a Friend or Family Member to Suicide , from the "Be That One" suicide prevention website, is a page dedicated to survivors of loss.
- "Suicide grief: Healing after a loved one's suicide" is an article for survivors from the Mayo Clinic.