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If you suspect someone you know may be suicidal and if you have detected some warning signs of suicide intention, you may be wondering if you should talk about it. It can be common to be apprehensive and think, "What if the person gets angry? Wouldn't it be awkward? What if I'm wrong?"

But if you don't ask, you won't know. The best way to find out is to ask. Talking about feelings and asking a friend or family member if he/she is thinking about suicide can be very difficult but it will show that you care. Asking if someone wants to end his/her life does not increase the likelihood of it happening. It lets the person to know that he/she can talk about suicide and express his/her feelings freely. Do not worry if you can't find the 'right' words because your attitude and your genuine concern is more important.

Some possible ways to start a conversation:

  • "I am concerned about you. I'm wondering how you are doing."
  • "You don't seem yourself lately. Did something happen?"
  • "I have noticed you look a bit down and I am worried about you."

Other things you can say:

  • "I care about you and want to help you. How can I best support you right now?"
  • "I am here for you; you are not alone in this."
  • "It must be very hard for you right now."
  • "I hope you don't mind me asking, but I'm concerned and would like to ask if you are feeling so down that you're thinking about suicide?"
  • "Are you thinking about ending your life because of this problem?"
Remember: Asking about suicide does not put the idea into someone's head
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