Do’s and Don’ts

Essential Steps for Averting Suicide

If you suspect that someone you know is suicidal, remember the following:


  • Do learn the warning signs
  • Do get involved and be available
  • Do be willing to listen
  • Do allow expression of feelings
  • Do discuss suicide openly and frankly
  • Do be a non-judgmental listener
  • Do show interest and support
  • Do get help from agencies and professionals
  • Do remove access to drugs and lethal weapons
  • Do emphasize that help is available


  • Don’t refuse to talk about it
  • Don’t act shocked or outraged
  • Don’t offer platitudes or glib answers
  • Don’t “dare” a suicidal person to commit suicide
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy (seek help instead)

More detailed information about how you can help is also available.