Stand Up: How to Help a Potentially Suicidal Friend

  • Listen: help your friend to talk about whatever is painful or distressing and offer them emotional support.

  • Express concern and care.

  • Ask direct questions about suicidal thoughts, plans or intentions. Listen to what is said and treat it seriously.

  • Avoid criticizing, sounding judgmental, minimizing or blaming.

  • Always take suicidal statements, thoughts or behaviors very seriously.

  • Encourage the person to seek help. Offer to accompany them to talk to a Resident Assistant (RA), or to the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health or University Health Services.

  • If you feel a person is in immediate danger, stay with them and call an RA, Campus Police (413) 545-1212, or 911.

  • Talk with a counselor or someone you trust. This allows you to share the responsibility with others, attend to your own need for support, and learn how to best help your friend.