General Question

loser's avatar

If you knew that someone was seriously suicidal, what would you tell them?

Asked by loser (14965points) March 8th, 2009 from iPhone

Would you say anything? Would you call the police? Would you do nothing?

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14 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

I would definitley not do nothing. I would quickly and seriously research services my area has. It may be the police, I don’t know. If your friend is upset and de-friends you, that’s waaay better than the possible alternative. And yes, I would talk, talk, and talk some more to the friend.

KrystaElyse's avatar

If they personally told you, this may be a cry for help. I would try to talk to them and see what’s going on, maybe all they need is someone to listen to them. Unfortunately, you can’t always tell with everyone. Some people who seem fine one moment, can be gone the next and you can’t always prevent it from happening. I think you should always take any threat of suicide seriously, that way even if it turns out they are just doing it for attention, at least you tried to do something.

casheroo's avatar

Having been there, I would convince them to go to the nearest ER. I would hope they would be temporarily committed, so they could get the ball rolling on the help they need.
I would not call the police. Police would make it messy, “arrest” the person, and take them to the nearest hospital and commit them. They have the responsibility to do that, and the person is 3110, which is involuntary commitment. They have to go before a judge then.
It’s more helpful to just take them and bypass the police. You need to do something if you know someone is suicidal, even if you think it might just be to get attention. If they are asking for attention in a way like this, they need help.

adreamofautumn's avatar

Bring them to the hospital if you can get them to go. They may feel angry, betrayed, etc. but at least they’ll still be alive. If you’re seriously worried, don’t wait.

augustlan's avatar

In addition to getting immediate help to prevent a suicide, I would remind them again and again and again: Things always get better. ALWAYS.

mcbealer's avatar

well hopefully you’re not still reading this and are either standing by for EMS/police or on your way to the hospital.
Definitely get your friend some help ASAP.

trumi's avatar

I have friends that have been suicidal, but only a few have really attempted. Those that have attempted did so as a cry for help. Therefore, I always tell my friends that if they ever get close they need to call me and I’ll drive over in an instant. They usually believe me and take it to heart.

The only situation in which I think contacting the authorities/parents is when an attempt is imminent or in progress. If they say “I just swalllowed a bottle of sleeping pills”, you call someone. If they say “I think I might kill myself”, you just call him/her and talk it out. Usually what they need is a friend, not an incarceration or a lecture. I’ve had friends that were suicidal for weeks, and had I told their parents or something it would have only made matters worse.

August’s sentence is exactly right. I say those exact words, because it is absolutely true. Once you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go but up.

Also, I have to quote some song lyrics here:

So if you want to burn yourself remember that I LOVE YOU.
So if you want to cut yourself remember that I LOVE YOU.
So if you want to kill yourself remember that I LOVE YOU.
Call me up before your dead, and we can make some plans instead.

My friend’s brother committed suicide on Thursday night. If a person could only see what it would do to their loved ones before going through with it….

Johnny_B_Goode's avatar

I would remind them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Jeruba's avatar

Get hold of the number of the nearest Suicide & Crisis hotline. They have volunteers who are trained in talking with suicidal people. They know what to say.

Try to get the person to call. If they won’t call, you call.

ckinyc's avatar

It happened to one of my friends. He won’t even pick up his phone. So I got hold of his mom whom I never met. They showed up with the keys and got him some help.

You just need to do whatever you can ASAP.

Mr_M's avatar

Worry about the depressed who SAY they want to kill themselves, but worry about the depressed who DON’T tell you, even more.

jackfright's avatar

i wouldnt address it directly, but i’d spend more time with them, either to keep them distracted, to cheer them up, or to intervene.

ignorantsavage's avatar

tell them that you would miss them… but only if its true.

jca's avatar

i would call the police immediately. i would not want to do nothing and have them kill themselves and feel guilty forever. only a professional intervention that is immediate (i.e. the police) has a bigger chance of working. that’s why professionals are required to report this kind of stuff to the crisis team. warm and fuzzy conversations are not the key.

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