How to Help a Suicidal Person

Understanding and supporting someone who is suicidal is challenging. The responsibility can be overwhelming, but with knowledge and compassion, you can make a difference. Here’s a guide to help.

How to Help a Suicidal Person

1. Recognize the Signs

Common signs include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Seeking methods to commit suicide.
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness, being trapped, or unbearable pain.
  • Changes in mood or behavior, especially after facing a traumatic event.
  • Withdrawing from social interactions.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

2. Listen Actively

  • Allow them to express their feelings without interruption.
  • Listen more than you speak. This isn’t the time for advice but for understanding.
  • Avoid arguing or challenging their perceptions.

3. Avoid Judgment

  • Avoid saying things like, “Think about your family,” or “You have so much to live for.” These may unintentionally come off as dismissive.
  • Emphasize that their feelings are valid.

4. Ask Directly

It’s a myth that asking about suicidal thoughts will plant the idea in someone’s mind. It can be helpful to ask:

  • “Have you had thoughts about ending your life?”
  • “Do you have a plan?” Remember to approach with sensitivity and care.

5. Stay Calm

Reacting with shock or disbelief can heighten their distress. Keep your emotions in check and provide a safe, supportive environment.

6. Encourage Professional Help

Recommend resources:

  • Therapists or psychiatrists.
  • Helplines, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • Hospital emergency rooms for immediate crises.

7. Stay Connected

Follow up with them. A simple message like, “I’ve been thinking about you. How are you feeling today?” can be powerful.

8. Safety First

If you believe they’re in immediate danger:

  • Do not leave them alone.
  • Remove potential means, e.g., weapons, drugs.
  • Seek emergency help.

9. Educate Yourself

Understand the complexity of mental health and suicide. Awareness can help you recognize signs and know the best actions to take.

10. Care for Yourself

Supporting someone at risk can be emotionally draining. Ensure you also have support and are practicing self-care.


Your role in supporting a suicidal person is significant. Even if you can’t understand their feelings fully, your compassion and willingness to stand by their side can make all the difference. Encourage them to seek professional help, and remember to look after your own well-being too.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment