What to do if …someone you know is threatening suicide

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad. Don't lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don't dare him or her to do it.
  • Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
  • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention or suicide prevention.

For additional information regarding suicide.


  • Local Police Department (for Springfield, 417-864-1700)
    or Sheriff (Greene County, 417-868-4040)
  • Burrell Center Inc./Crisis Assist Team (417-862-6555)
    or (800-494-7355)
  • Missouri State Counseling Center (417-836-5116)


For information on other suicide education sites

For help in understanding suicide.

For information regarding research by the National Institute of Mental Health