Many people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying issue is depression.
What you can do to help
You can’t make depression go away, but you can give support, encouragement, and hope. The most important thing you can do is let them know you care and want to help them get better.
Learn about depression
Take time to find out about depression and how it can be treated. Because if you know what to do and what to say, you can make a difference in someone’s life. Taking a Mental Health First Aid classexternal. external page is a great way to learn how to recognize and respond to someone experiencing depression.
Listen with an open mind
When someone tells you they’re depressed, one of the most meaningful things you can do is listen without judgement. Don’t try to give advice — just help them feel heard, understood, and accepted.
Help them get help
Let them know that depression is common — and that help is available. Encourage them to reach out to a doctor or therapist, and offer to help them do that if you think it’s appropriate. Mental Health America has a tool designed to help you. Call 988 to reach a 24-hour crisis center available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Text MHA to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor from Crisis Text Line.
Check in often with the person you’re supporting. You may want to ask them how they’re doing, invite them to spend time with you, or offer to help with everyday tasks. The important thing is to show up, listen, and show that you care.