What to do if you suspect a friend or loved one is suicidal?

  • Take it seriously.  Up to 70% of all people who commit suicide give some warning of their intentions to a friend or member of their family.
  • Be willing to listen. Even if profession help is needed, your friend or loved one will be more willing to seek help if you have listened to him or her.
  • Voice your concern. Take the initiative to ask what is troubling your friend or loved one, and attempt to overcome any reluctance on their part to talk about it.
  • Let the person know that you care. Reassure your friend or loved one that he or she is not alone. Explain that, although powerful, suicidal feelings are temporary, depression can be treated, and problems can be solved.
  • Ask if the person has a specific plan for committing suicide, and how far he or she has gone in carrying it out. (Asking about suicide does not cause a person to think about – or commit- suicide. This is a myth.)
  • Get professional help immediately. Your friend will be more likely to seek help if you accompany him or her. If all else fails, notify security, who are trained to handle situations like this.
  • Follow up on treatment. Take an active role in following up with the process.
  • If for any reason you are unsure, uncomfortable, or unable to action: Find someone with whom to share your concerns.

  • Don’t assume the situation will take care of itself
  • Don’t leave a person alone.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy.
  • Don’t act shocked or surprised at what the person says.
  • Don’t challenge or dare
  • Don’t argue or debate moral issues.

Other ways as a community that can be helpful to each other is not using this type of terminology (suicidal ideation or threats) in a flippant or minimizing way. Be mindful of the impact of words and expressions.

If you have immediate concerns, bring your friend to LSWC or call Security and Protective Services 330-263-2590. You or your friend may also connect to other resources such as: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or Wayne County Prevention Hotline at 1-330-264-9029.

*Taken from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention