How should I help my friend who attempted suicide?

Hi, thank you for the great question, as I’m sure lots of people have the same one. It sounds like your friend is going through some hard times, and it’s affecting you as well. It also sounds from your message like you care a lot about your friend. I think that approaching your friend the way you normally would, and with a positive attitude, might be the best way to go.

It isn’t your responsibility to treat her mental health issues or suicidal ideation, but what you can do is show your support. It can be helpful to say something like, “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now, but I care about you and I want to help you any way I can. Let me know if there is anything I can do, or if you want to talk about what you’re going through.” This last part is only if you are open to talking or helping her out – you definitely don’t need to do anything you are uncomfortable with. Often times, the stigma around suicide can be really strong so offering a non-judgmental attitude can go a long ways in helping someone feel safe.

Because suicide can be a topic that brings up a lot of questions and feelings that you may not have experienced before, it can also be helpful for you to seek out the help of a professional, like a counselor or therapist. They can help you sort out your feelings and also may be able to give you more advice on how to approach your friend. If you are unsure where to find a professional you can always call 211 and explain what you are looking for. 211 helps people get connected with resources in their area.

If you or your friend are experiencing suicidal thoughts, struggling with a decision, or even just having a bad day, we really encourage you to reach out. Feel free to talk to us on our online chat, text us at 587-333-2724 or call us at 403-264-TEEN (8336). We care about you, and we’d love to hear from you.