Official Government Website

Suicide Prevention

This page is NOT intended to and does NOT provide crisis intervention.
If you are in a crisis, or have concerns about someone, call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-4357 (HELP)

How to Help

Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Suicide Prevention Program

Ask Directly

Trust your gut if you are concerned about someone.

Even if you are in doubt, ask.  Ask directly, “Are you thinking of suicide/killing yourself?  Or use the warning signs you’ve noticed to ask: “I’ve noticed you seem to be [warning signs].  Sometime when people are [warning signs] they are thinking of suicide. Are you?”  

Listen Well

Sometimes listening well is all that is needed because it creates a sense of belonging which may prevent a suicide attempt. 

Listening well means putting your own fear on hold and giving the person your full attention.  Do not try to solve their problems. Simply reflect back to the person what you are hearing, e.g., “You sound very sad.” or  “You seem overwhelmed,” etc.  Do not rush to judgment or argue with them.

Instill Hope

You can help the suicidal person feel more hopeful by using hopeful statements like, “I care if you live.” “I’m here for you.” “We’ll get through this.” 

Anything you can say that uses “we,” “us,” or “let’s” is helpful because it implies two people together.  Encourage the person to discuss their reasons for living, their strengths, things that give them enjoyment, positive people or experiences in their lives.

Get Help

Help may look different in different situations; regardless, never leave a suicidal person alone.  The best thing to do is get them to help directly.  Help them contact a mental health provider.  Get others involved such as family, friends, clergy, or someone else they trust.  If you will be leaving them with someone, make sure that person will not leave them alone until they receive help.  You may want to call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at: 208-398-4357 (HELP). The hotline can also provide you with referrals to mental health professionals and other resources.  If the person threatens suicide while you are talking and has a weapon, call 911.

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