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One of my friends is suicidal and I don’t really know what to do. I don’t know what to say to him to let him know that I care about him and that I care if he kills himself, but he doesn’t like to talk about it and whenever he brings it up out of the random he makes the subject disappear as quickly as it came.I need to know how I can help him or get him help because right now I feel a little useless.

According to the National Mental Health Association, more than 19 million Americans suffer from depression each year. Among teens, one out of five is depressed. Various kinds of depression can lead to thoughts of suicide. Your friend may feel alone, but the fact is, he’s not alone.

People who are thinking about suicide need professional care. You could talk with your school social worker or guidance counselor about your concerns for your friend. The most important thing may be for you to help your friend find the care he needs. Parents, teachers, and clergypeople are also important resources, and there are many organizations that help teens who are struggling with depression. Another place your friend can begin to look for help is online.

If a friend has a plan to give up life by suicide, especially if he has the things he needs to do it, mental health professionals strongly recommend that friends or family call 911 and report their concerns. When people have plans and ways to take their own lives, it’s very urgent that they get treatment immediately. Emergency medical services and police departments have a lot of experience with people who are suicidally depressed, and they usually intervene with care, skill, and thoughtfulness.

Tags: suicide, friendship, depression