Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Talking About Suicide to Someone You're Worried About

Talking About Suicide to Someone You're Worried About


Talking about suicide is very important if you're worried about someone. You may be afraid that discussing suicide will make it more likely to happen. But in fact, talking about it can reduce the risk of suicide. Feeling connected to others can help protect people from suicide.

How to talk about suicide

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

  • Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line.

Consider saving these numbers in your phone.

Go to for more information or to chat online.

It may not be easy to discuss suicide with someone you care about. But an open, supportive conversation can be a lifeline for a person who's thinking about ending their life.

When you're ready to have this talk, follow these steps.

  1. Don't be afraid to be direct.

    For example, you might say, "I'm worried about you. Are you thinking about suicide?" They may be relieved to talk about it. Try to stay calm and not seem too shocked. Encourage them to talk about why they feel this way. Don't judge them or argue with them. Accept that their feelings are real.

  2. Be a good listener.

    Pay close attention while they're talking. Make eye contact, and don't interrupt. Be alert for any reasons they give for wanting to live.

    When they're finished, ask questions to make sure you understand what they said. Repeat what you heard, including anything they mentioned that makes their life worth living.

  3. Ask if they have a plan.

    This may feel scary to talk about, but it's important to know. Have they set a date or chosen a location? Do they have any weapons, pills, or other means of suicide? Have they tried to hurt themself before? The answers can help you assess the danger. The more detailed their plan, the higher the risk. But take all talk of suicide seriously.

    If they have a plan to harm themself or someone else, get help right away. Call 911 or take them to an emergency room.

  4. Offer your help.

    For example, you might be able to:

    • Help them make a list of trusted people they can call for support.
    • Help them find treatment or a support group.
    • Remove and store any means of suicide, such as weapons or pills.

    If possible, tell them you're available when they need to talk. But don't commit to anything that you won't or can't do.

  5. Encourage them to get professional help.

    Urge them to call their doctor, a mental health professional, or a crisis hotline.

    Don't agree to keep this talk a secret. This may not feel right. But the person you care about needs more support than one person can give, and their life could be at risk.

  6. Follow up on your talk.

    Call or visit soon, or send a text or an email. You might offer to drop off food or go for a walk with them. Staying in touch shows that you care. And it helps the person feel valued and supported.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Warning Signs of Suicide in Adults Warning Signs of Suicide Warning Signs of Suicide in Older Adults Warning Signs of Suicide in Children and Teens Teens: Helping a Friend Who's Talking About Suicide

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details