Four Things You Can Do To Save A Life

Here is additional guidance from

If you know someone who’s desperate and may be considering suicide, there are things you can do to help save their life.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Most suicidal people signal their intentions, however subtly. They may talk about death or harming themselves, feel hopeless and have nothing to look forward to, or gather drugs or weapons to act on their thoughts. They may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, neglect their appearance, or demonstrate dramatic swings in mood, behavior, sleeping, and eating patterns.  

Speak Up

It’s never easy to talk to someone about suicide, especially if you’re worried you might be wrong or scared about upsetting the person. But speaking up now can help save your loved one’s life. Start by simply saying you’re concerned about the changes in their mood or outlook. Listen to them express their feelings without judging or arguing. Then let them know that they’re not alone—you care deeply and want to help.  

Offer Support

You’re not responsible for making a suicidal person get better. But you can encourage them to get help—whether that’s seeing a mental health professional or calling a crisis line. You can also help your loved one make a safety plan—steps they can take in a suicidal crisis, such as calling you, their therapist, or a helpline. If a suicide attempt seems imminent, call the emergency services number but never leave the person alone. 

Don’t Believe Common Misconceptions About Suicide

There’s still a lot of stigma and misinformation surrounding suicidal thoughts and actions. Keep in mind the following:

  • Feeling suicidal is not a character defect and it doesn’t mean that someone is crazy or weak. It simply means that they have more emotional pain than they can cope with right now.
  • Trying to fix a suicidal person’s problems, giving advice, or telling them how much they have to live for isn’t helpful. It is not about how bad their problem is, but how badly it’s hurting them.
  • You won’t give someone suicidal ideas by talking about suicide. But talking openly and honestly about it can help save your loved one’s life and put them on the road to recovery.