If you’re worried that a young person you care about is thinking about suicide, don't ignore it. Talk with them about how they’re feeling.
Sometimes people worry that talking about suicide may put ideas in a young person’s head, but the opposite is true. Talking openly lets them know that you care, you’re listening and you want to help them through this tough time.
Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about suicide
Asking direct questions can help you to figure out if a young person is in immediate danger and needs support.
Here are some ways to ask a young person if they are considering suicide:
- "Are you feeling so bad that you’re thinking about ending your life?"
- "Are you thinking about suicide?"
- "Do you ever wish you were dead?"
If you suspect that a young person you care about is in danger, get help immediately. Don't wait for things to blow over or calm down.
When a young person confides that they are feeling suicidal, don’t promise to keep it a secret. Be clear about the limits of confidentiality – if they are at risk of suicide you have a duty of care to let someone know and get them support. Try to do this in collaboration with the young person.