Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening to
commit suicide, get help right away. Health professionals should try to find
out whether the person:
Has the means (weapons or medicines) available to
commit suicide or do harm to another person.
Has set a time and
place to commit suicide.
Thinks that there is no other way to end
If a suicide threat seems real, with a specific plan and the
means at hand:
Call 911, a
suicide hotline, or the police.
Stay with the person, or ask
someone you trust to stay with the person, until the crisis has
Encourage the person to seek professional
Don't argue with the person ("It's not as bad as you think")
or challenge the person ("You're not the type to commit
Tell the person that you don't want him or her to die.
Talk about the situation as openly as possible.
You can take
steps to prevent a suicide attempt. Be willing to listen, and help the person
find help. Don't be afraid to ask "What is the matter?" or bring up the subject
of suicide. There is no evidence that talking about suicide leads to suicidal
thinking or suicide.
Remove all firearms from the home, or lock
firearms and bullets up in different places. Get rid of any prescription and
nonprescription medicines that are not being used.
information on preventing suicide, see the topic Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.
Warning signs of suicide
It is hard to know if a
person is thinking about committing suicide. But you can look for warning signs
and events that may make suicide more likely.
People may be more
likely to commit suicide if they:
Have tried to commit suicide before, or have
had a family member who has tried to commit or who committed
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.