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Helping others

No matter the situation, action is the most important thing a friend or family member can do if a loved one says he or she is considering suicide or displaying warning signs.

It’s common to feel upset, confused or overwhelmed when you hear someone you care about is considering suicide, but they are looking for your help.

Don’t be afraid to ask sensitive but direct questions to determine if your loved one is in immediate danger.

Asking about suicidal thoughts won't push someone into doing something self-destructive. In fact, you could have the opposite effect. Simply giving a person the opportunity to talk about their feelings could reduce the risk of acting on such feelings.

Be on the lookout for suicidal warning signs or risk factors and don’t be afraid to talk about local resources or making sure this person knows about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Lots of advocates utilize the QPR Institute suicide prevention plan, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer. While this program requires official training, its principles are simple. QPR incorporates not only asking questions but making sure that the suicidal person knows the importance of getting help and that local resources are available.

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