• Acknowledge. Validate rather than dismiss their thoughts and feelings. It can be difficult for someone to bring up suicidal thoughts, and if you don’t take them seriously, they may shut down and not come to you again.
• Care. Show that you care by listening carefully and taking what they say seriously. It might be hard for you to hear, but listen without judgment. You can’t help them if you don’t know what they’re experiencing. It might also be good to ask them how you can help. You may not know what to do, and they may not either, but offering to help and asking what they need can be a great first step in showing that you care that they’re here and stay here.
• Tell/Treatment. You can help them get treatment by offering to accompany them, or suggesting a step they can take. But you also may not be the best person to get your friend or family member the help they need. If not, you may need to tell someone in the person’s life what is going on.