when you're not sure

Most young people in crisis donít consider or attempt suicide. There may come a time, however, when someone you know and care about starts having a bad time or showing signs of suicidal behavior. Donít be afraid to ask. Donít be afraid of being wrong. It is estimated that 80% of those thinking about suicide want others to be aware of their emotional pain and to keep them from dying.

realityCheckTalking about suicide or suicidal thoughts will not plant the idea in someoneís mind. Instead, it can come as a great relief to that person to know that someone cares.

It is also not true that people who talk about killing themselves will not actually try it. It is important for you to take them seriously.

You may know your friends better than their own parents do. And you may observe that something is bothering one of your classmates even when your teachers and guidance counselors donít have a clue that anything is wrong. Sometimes itís hard to get help for a troubled friend because youíre afraid theyíll accuse you of telling on them. Just remember that silence places you both at riskóyour friend for death by suicide and you for tremendous feelings of guilt if that happens.

Never promise to keep information about suicide a secret.

timeTime can be crucial when dealing with a friend who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Itís not unreasonable to regard these thoughts as a direct threat to your friendís life. It is also not advisable to think that you can handle things on your own. You canít. Nobody can.

Take the person seriously. Donít assume theyíre just being dramatic or wanting attention. And donít be afraid of making them mad at you. Wouldnít you rather have them alive?

Tell a trusted adult, someone who will know what to do. Get them the help they need.

Silence can be deadly.

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