What if my Friend is Having Thoughts of Suicide?

A friend might tell you they are having thoughts of suicide or they might show signs they are considering it. It is important to take every conversation about suicide seriously, to not judge the person talking about it and to seek help from a trusted adult right away.

Other things you can do if someone is talking to you about suicide are:

  • Take the situation seriously by asking, “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”
  • Be calm and listen;
  • Show that you care and be honest about what you are feeling;
  • Ask them to talk about the reasons they are thinking about suicide;
  • Help them pick out adults they trust, and then seek help from those adults immediately;
  • If your friend refuses to talk to an adult about their feelings of suicide, then you need to tell an adult you trust right away to make sure they get the help they need;
  • Take care of yourself: make sure you talk to someone about how you are feeling about what you’ve been told and seek support to work through your own stress;
  • Call a crisis line such as the Distress Centre (403-266-4357);
  • Call 9-1-1 if you or the person you know are in danger right now.

What NOT to do if your friend is having thoughts of suicide:

  • Act shocked or embarrassed;
  • Challenge, judge or criticize the person;
  • Talk as if their problem is small or shouldn’t bother them;
  • Keep it a secret.
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