No emotional crisis is more urgent than suicidal thoughts and behavior, or threats to harm someone else. If you suspect a loved one is considering self-harm or suicide, don't wait to intervene.
It's a difficult topic to bring up, but discussing suicide will not put the idea in someone's head. In fact, it's not abnormal for a person to have briefly thought about suicide. It becomes abnormal when someone starts to see suicide as the only solution to his or her problems.
If you discover or suspect that your loved one is dwelling on thoughts of self-harm, or developing a plan, it's an emergency. If possible, take him or her to the emergency room for urgent attention. Medical staff in the ER can help you deal with the crisis and keep your loved one safe.
If you think someone is suicidal or will harm someone else, do not leave him or her alone. If he or she will not seek help or call 911, eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for harm to self or others, including unsupervised access to medications.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also a valuable resource. If you're concerned about a loved one's mental state or personal safety, and unable to take him or her to the emergency room, you can talk to a skilled counselor by calling 1-800-273-TALK.