Who can I talk to about a suicide attempt?

Maureen Q. Russell, MPH, RN
Geriatric Medicine

If you have "interrupted" a suicide attempt, or believe one is about to happen, do not wait - dial 911 immediately. Do whatever you need to until help arrives. One person, who pulled a 'jumper' back over a bridge rail, actually sat on her while he used his cell phone to call for back up.

If someone has confided to you (or you suspect) that they are thinking of suicide - the first person you need to talk to is THEM! Speak up and ask; and don't leave them alone. Listen fully, and bring them to help (the local emergency room, for example) in any way you can. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a good program to learn the skills you need for this: check out for more information.

A suicide attempt is a secret that must not be kept. Depending on the circumstances, tell a parent, teacher, guidance counselor, trusted (adult) friend, doctor, nurse... and keep it up until you are heard. This is absolutely crucial, if the suicide attempt was your own. Learn more about resources in your area through the National Suicide Prevention Hotline's website:

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
If you or someone you know are in immediate danger from a suicide attempt, call 911 or your local emergency phone number right away. Otherwise, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a trained staff member at any time of night or day. The phone call is free and confidential.

You can also speak to a loved one and/or your doctor or mental health provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.