Know How to Prevent Suicide

Friends holding each other's hand on desk

Suicide is a complex public health problem that impacts people of all ages, genders and ethnicities. While there is no single cause or risk factor, we can save lives by knowing the steps for suicide prevention.

Five action steps for helping someone

Don’t ignore suicidal thoughts or actions. If you think someone is contemplating suicide, take these action steps:

  1. Ask
    Be direct: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It sounds difficult, but studies show that asking does not increase suicidal thoughts.

  2. Keep them safe
    Remove lethal items from the area and get them to a safe place.

  3. Be there
    You could be in the room with them, on the phone or video chat. Listen to them and acknowledge their feelings.

  4. Help them connect
    Getting instant help is now easier than ever. Reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.

  5. Stay connected
    Even after a crisis, check in with the person at risk. Contact will increase feelings of connection and resilience.

Help is always available at 988

Don’t ignore suicidal thoughts or actions. If you’re worried about a loved one, friend, yourself—anyone—trained counselors are ready now and are always available. The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is free, confidential and open 24/7.

Call or text 988, or chat at