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Suicide Threats: What to Do

Overview

If the person has a plan to harm themself or someone else, follow these steps:

  • Call 911, the police, or a suicide hotline like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
  • Consider your own safety. If you feel safe, stay with the person, or ask someone you trust to stay with them, until help arrives.
  • Talk about the situation as openly as possible. Tell the person that you don't want them to die or to harm another person.
  • Show understanding and compassion. Don't argue with the person or deny their feelings. Arguing with the person may only increase their feeling of being out of control of their life.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine