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Home > I'm worried about a family member > If you Suspect a Family Member is Suicidal

Female youthIf you Suspect a Family Member is Suicidal

If you suspect that someone is suicidal, the three steps below may save a life. We've given an example of how to express each step, but feel free to use your own words.

  1. Show you care - listen carefully - be genuine.
    "I am concerned about you, about how you're feeling."
  2. Ask about suicide - be direct but non-confrontational.
    "Are you thinking about suicide?"
  3. Get help - do not leave the person alone.
    "You are not alone. Let me help you. Let’s call the crisis line."

Never promise to keep information about suicide a secret. It isn't tattling to get help for someone you care about - it's caring enough to help them find options that they haven't been able to identify. And while your family member (brother, sister, niece, nephew, etc.) might be angry at you at first, you'll feel better knowing that he/she is receiving help and isn't dead. Silence places you both at risk - your family member for death by suicide and you for tremendous feelings of guilt if that happens.