My friend is depressed and has mentioned suicide

She’s already in therapy, and has told me she is going to ask about going on medication. She said she probably isn’t going to off herself, if for no other reason that she wouldn’t want to abandon her beloved cat.

On the other hand, she did send me an e-mail message telling me that, if anything happens, I’ve been a good friend to her. I was quite creeped out by this.

What else can I do besides humbly request that she not drive off a bridge? Simply being supportive doesn’t feel like enough. Anybody have any insight on helping out depressed friends?

The best thing you can do is be supportive and let her know she can call on you at any time. She is already in therapy and thinking about medication, which is good. So that means all you can do is be a good friend. I’m very sorry you have to go through this it is very hard. My thoughts are with you and your friend.


Being “merely” supportive of someone who has major depression, suicidal ideation, and even appears to have a death plan is an invitation to disaster.

Call her therapist immediately and notify her of everything she said or intimated. Sure, your friend might make it through her present difficulties, but then are you willing to roll the dice? Remember that severely depressed individuals often are incapable of making rational decisions about their own welfare and could act out on a moment’s impulse.

Hers is a cry for help and it is your job to make sure that a skilled mental health professional knows the behind-the-scenes story. Should you be unable to contact her therapist ASAP, then contact the local crisis hotline and let them know what’s going on–and ensure they follow up with a coherent game plan. Someday she will thank you.

I’ve been on both sides of that fence. I know how difficult it is to ‘snap out of it’. When I’m feeling suicidal myself, I’d like to be able to talk about it. To someone I can trust. About actually killing myself, how I’d like to do it. And why. Without passing judgement or telling me how stupid I am for thinking these thoughts. When I’m dealing with another suicidal, I feel it’s best just to let her know that I’m there to listen. I hope that’s helpful.


Call me right away. If possible, let’s drive over and visit your friend. It sounds like a little intervention (as in a Mexican restaurant or Dim Sum) is in order.

Please Let Me Know,


Absolutely. This is not the time to be passive and say I’ll be there for you if you need me. You need to take an active role and do everything you can to insure that they don’t harm themselves. I have had three friends kill them selves, one in my kitchen. If he had told me he was going to do it, and I had done nothing to stop it I would be living with that guilt forever. It was a traumatic experiance as it was. A person who is suicidal is not thinking clearly, and could do something at any time without further warning. If you don’t know the therapist, go to thier family, the crisis hotline, or anyone who will listen. Trying to help them on your own is a little like trying to do surgery with no medical training. It could work, but it could be disasterous. I have manned a crisis line myself, and have talked people out of killing themselves, and even then, I always handed it off to a Doctor as soon as I could.

Good luck

I know what it’s like on both sides as well.

I know that all threats are supposed to be taken seriously.

But when I am depressed, I also like to talk about it, and discuss the ways I wouldlike to die. It becomes an obsession, but it doesn’t mean I have any intention of carrying it out.

At the same time, I don’t feel like talking to anybody, I want to be alone, yet I feel abandoned and lonely if I don’t get lots of attention.

If this is not a serious threat, but just depression-
even if it IS serious-

CONSTANT consolation. She may push you away, she might want to be alone, but at the same time, even as she’s pushing you away she will want the attention. She will appreciate it later. It helps a great deal.
Lots of calling, lots of e-mails…ask her out all the time, even if she refuses and says she’s not up to it.

Just keep pestering her. Best of luck, Snoooooooop

You could call a suicide hotline & ask them what to do.

Snooooopy, I am in absolutely no position to give advice here, but I want to give you and your friend my blessings, and give the thread a bump. I’m glad that everyone who has responded to the thread is taking this seriously and I hope that you are soliciting advice from genuine experts, not just fellow Dopers.

Here is a link given to me by Melin from Fathom (from a different situation) that everyone considering suicide should read.

And I agree that no possible threat of suicide should be left alone. I think Zenster would be a wonderful person to help; he is so helpful to people here. If that would be too much for her (might be if Zenster is a stranger to her), the idea about contacting her therapist is excellent also.

Good luck to you and your friend, Snooooopy.

Here’s another bump with good wishes - and a minor hijack.

I just discovered that a very well meaning friend thought that Snooooopy was referring to me in the OP - if anybody else was wondering about it let me be the first to say it’s not me (and no, this isn’t denial. :slight_smile: )

I know that Snooooopy really appreciates everyone’s contributions and ideas here, he has been worried about her for a while.