4 Ways to Prep for a Suicide Conversation

One of the hardest parts of relationships is talking about the really hard things. Not like the “what do you want to do this weekend” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” kind of conversations (though, those can get pretty annoying…) I mean the really awkward conversations, like when you’re worried about their eating or drinking habits. Or when you’re worried about the abusive relationship, they are in.

In social work, this is referred to as “confronting” the client. But, as a friend, you’d do things a little differently than their therapist. I think this is often where the line gets a little muddled- how do I approach a friend when I’m so worried about them?

The truth is you don’t have to be a therapist to know what to do. In fact, approaching your friend as a friend can be a better, lasting experience for them and for you. The hardest part is worrying how your questions will affect them. You might be worried that your questions will cause them to think further about suicide, when they might not have been. Or you might worry that they will act on their thoughts if they verbalize them.

These potential responses are not only not common, but talking candidly with your friend about suicide will actually help them.

If you are curious about what to do, consider these preparatory mindsets before going into a full-blown convo-


Think of suicide as a cry for help. 

Our culture sees suicide attempts as an annoying cry for help- until one is completed. I’ve seen many roll their eyes when someone claims to have made a suicide attempt. Thinking that if they weren’t “successful” then they only did it for attention.

The truth is, if someone is attempting suicide for attention, that’s a sign that they do need help. Why would anyone put their own life at risk unless they were okay with the fatal consequences? Let go of the negative stigma about what a suicide attempt means, and just know that a death can be avoided.


Put your friend’s feelings before your own.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts aren’t about you. In fact, if someone does blame someone else for their attempted suicide or suicidal thoughts, then remember this: there is probably something much deeper going on that they might not even be aware of. You don’t need to explore that for them, though. Just stick to the tips we discuss about what to do to talk to your friend about suicide. But don’t get caught up in constantly defending other people or yourself because that conversation won’t go very far.


Don’t assume.

Never assume you know the reason for their pain or have all the answers to their problems. Go into the conversation with an open mind and heart and a plan to just ask questions and listen to understand. You can establish a healthy rapport for them. And when you do, they are more likely to come to you for help in the future. Honestly, just because you watched “13 Reasons Why” doesn’t mean that you understand every suicide situation.


Consider the situation.

Is your friend considering suicide? If you’ve noticed several of these behaviors, then it is probably time to have a conversation. If the situation is much more serious- for example, if you find a written-out plan for a suicide attempt- then consider a more urgent approach.

If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988

OR Text the Crisis Text Line: CONNECT to 741741

Why Is a Hair Product Company Talking About Suicide Prevention?

We realize that we have built a platform that allows us to do more than help fix damaged hair, we can help people. We want to use our platform to promote kindness, hope and support. After our founder lost her sister to suicide, she made it a point to spread awareness about suicide prevention.  

Find out more about April and her mission, here.