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It may be scary or upsetting to hear a friend talk about wanting to die. But it gives you a chance to help. Talking to your friend about suicide doesn't make it more likely to happen. Talking about it can actually help prevent suicide.
If your friend has a plan to harm themself or someone else, call 911 or take them to an emergency room.
Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away.
Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
Here are steps for helping a friend you're worried about.
Talking about suicide is a sure sign that a person needs help. But some people don't use the word suicide. They may say or write things like, "I'd rather be dead," "I can't take it anymore," or "I wish I'd never been born."
Other signs that a friend needs help include:
Not everyone has these signs. They may have others. For example, they may seem hopeless or depressed. Or they may sleep a lot, eat less, or quit caring how they look.
It may not be easy to talk about suicide, but it's important. It shows that you care. And it can help your friend feel supported. Here are some tips:
It may be hard to do, but it's important to know. The answers can help you decide what to do next. Ask if they have set a date or chosen a location. Do they have any weapons, pills, or other means of suicide? Have they tried to hurt themselves before? The more detailed their plan is, the greater the danger.
If your friend has a plan to harm themself or someone else, get help right away. Call 911 or take them to an emergency room. If you're not sure what to do, call your provincial suicide hotline or Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566.
But take all talk of suicide seriously. Don't agree to keep it a secret. This may not feel right, but this is too much to handle on your own and their life could be at risk.
Call or visit soon, or send a text or an email. Staying in touch shows that you care, and it helps your friend know that they're valued. Feeling connected to others can help protect people from suicide.
Adaptation Date: 2/16/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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