WhyNot, your sensitivity and deligence may have saved two lives. That is just amazing. You did what many of us would not do: you risked looking a little silly if he was just trolling.
There is so much mental illness out there and such actions can be so impulsive. Never, never assume that someone is just kidding.
I heard someone in my family say that if she had a gun she would kill herself. Someone else in the family contacted her husband to see if he had heard it too. He said, “Oh yeah, but she says that all the time.” I wanted to strangle him.
I had a boss once whose favorite expression during times of stress was, “Just shoot me now. Or bring me a gun.” She’d often say this before disappearing into her office in a black funk and not reappearing until closing time.
I understood she was joking, but it really bothered me. A lot. She also had a history of depression - how the hell am I supposed to know when you’re serious if that’s your default expression of frustration? How is someone who doesn’t know you well supposed to know you’re not being serious? After repeated explanations of why I didn’t like it when she said that to me, she finally switched to something more innocuous, but it took literally years to break her of the habit.