How to Help a Friend in Crisis

1. Try to start a dialogue

Make sure that they know that you are there to talk to them if and when they need it.

 

2. Do not shut down their emotions

Do NOT say things like “You should be grateful for what you have,” “It’s all in your head,” or “There are people out there that are starving.” They don’t need to feel guilty for feeling this way on top of feeling this way.

 

3. Recommend therapy

You’re not an expert. If they have the ability to talk to one, that might really help. Whether that means a therapist, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist.

 

4. Make sure they know they’re loved

In whatever way you express that, make sure they know that they matter to you and that they matter.

 

5. Keep an eye out

Make sure that you watch for warning signs that it’s getting worse.

 

6. Make sure they don’t have access to gun

Guns are used in over half of all suicide deaths. If you suspect that they are or may become suicidal, ask their family or roommate if there’s a gun they have access to. In some states you can use an Extreme risk protection order (ERPO) to prohibit a person from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that they are a risk to themself.

 

7. In a crisis, get immediate support by calling 1-800-273-8255 or text SEIZE to 741741

 

For more advice go to seizetheawkward.org, endfamilyfire.org, or suicideproof.org.