Warning Signs of Suicide You may have heard that people who talk about suicide won't actually go through with it. That's not true. People who talk about suicide may be likely to try it. Immediate warning signs that someone may be thinking of suicide include: talking about suicide or death in general looking online for ways to kill oneself or buying items to use in a suicide attempt talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live engaging in self-destructive behavior (drinking a lot of alcohol, taking drugs, driving too fast, or cutting, for example) visiting or calling people to say goodbye giving away possessions What Can I Do? Ask If you have a friend who's talking about suicide or showing other warning signs, don't wait to see if they start to feel better. Talk about it. Ask them directly if they're having thoughts of suicide. Having someone care enough to ask these questions can help save your friend's life. Some people (both teens and adults) are reluctant to ask teens if they've been thinking about suicide or hurting themselves. They might worry that, by asking, they're planting the idea of suicide. Research has proven this to be 100% untrue. If you're worried — ask. Asking someone if they're having thoughts about suicide can be hard. It can help to let your friend know why you're asking. For instance, you might say, "I've noticed that you've been talking a lot about wanting to be dead. Have you been having thoughts about trying to kill yourself?" Be prepared for their answer and be ready to talk to a trusted adult at home or at school to get the help needed. Tell If your friend asks you to keep these thoughts a secret, let them know you care about them and need to share this with a trusted adult. It may feel like you're betraying your friend, but you should always tell a trusted adult. Share your concerns with an adult as soon as possible. You also can turn to these resources for 24/7 help: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text CONNECT to 741741. You also can contact them through their website. Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ community: 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678. You can also contact them through their website. The important thing is to notify a responsible adult. It may be tempting to try to help your friend on your own, but it's always safest to get help. Back to Articles Related Articles Suicide We all feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions or situations sometimes. Here are the warning signs of suicide and ways to get help. Read More I'm Thinking of Suicide. How Can I Get Help? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More My Friend Is Talking About Running Away: What Should I Do? Do you know someone who is having major problems? No matter how bad things get, running away is never a solution. Find out how to help your friend. Read More Death and Grief If someone close to you has died, you probably feel overwhelmed with grief. Read about some things that might help you cope. Read More Going to a Therapist Getting help with emotions or stress is the same as getting help with a medical problem like asthma or diabetes. This article explains how therapy works and how it can help with problems. Read More Stress & Coping Center Visit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations. Read More When Depression Is Severe Severe depression can cloud a person's thinking and lead some people to think that life isn't worth living. But severe depression can be treated. Find out what to do and how to get help in this article for teens. Read More Why Do People Get Depressed? There's no one reason why people get depressed - many different things can play a role. Find out more about the things that can trigger depression. Read More Cutting It can be hard to understand, but people who cut themselves sometimes do it because it actually makes them feel better. They are overflowing with emotions - like sadness, depression, or anger - that they have trouble expressing. Read More Dealing With Anger Do you wonder why you fly off the handle so easily sometimes? Do you wish you knew healthier ways to express yourself when you're steamed? Check out this article for help with dealing with anger. Read More School Counselors School counselors can give you all sorts of tips and support on solving problems and making good decisions. But how do you meet with a counselor and what is it like? Find out here. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.