Talking about suicide with a friend……won’t make them do it
Hearing someone talk about suicidal thoughts won’t inspire anyone to commit suicide! If you share your fears about a friend’s suicidal tendencies, you’re really opening the door for discussion so that your friend can express what he/she feels. Your friend will feel that you accept him/her as he/she is, and that can help break his/her isolation. But remember: just because your friend talks about it, that doesn’t mean that it’s not serious any more or that it’s all over and done with.
If a friend has suicidal thoughts……it’s a cry for help
Someone who has suicidal thoughts doesn’t really want to stop living: they want to stop hurting and they feel they’ve already unsuccessfully tried everything possible to make things better. Suicide then seems like the only option to take away the pain. Your friend doesn’t want to die; he/she just doesn’t want to live like that any more… It’s easier to help when you understand that difference.
Thinking about suicide is serious
Suicide is complicated. So when someone confides in us, we can never know everything that’s still hidden. Some people talk about suicide easily, while others are more reserved, but all suicidal thoughts need to be taken seriously. Even if you think someone’s just talking about suicide to attract attention, take them seriously. Manipulation is also a distress signal: your friend needs help.
Committing suicide is not a choice
Nobody commits suicide by choice. It’s really the opposite: suicidal thoughts are a reaction to a perceived lack of choice. The suicidal person sees life as unbearable, they can’t stand any more pain, and they don’t see any other way to stop the hurting.