How to Help Someone at Risk of Suicide

January 22, 2021

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A recent survey found most Americans know suicide is preventable and would like to be able to help a person at risk. But it can be hard to know what to do when a loved one is struggling. Experts offer these tips: (1) watch for the warning signs of suicide; (2) if you notice someone is having a hard time, reach out and ask how they are doing; (3) ask directly if they are feeling suicidal; (4) ask follow-up questions to find out their level of risk; (5) if they are in crisis, stay with them and connect them with help; (6) listen and offer hope; (7) create a safety plan together; (8) help them find a mental health professional; and (9) explore online supports. You do not need formal training to help someone, according to Doreen Marshall, a psychologist and vice president of programs at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention,” she said.

Spark Extra! Learn more about helping someone at risk of suicide.