Suicide Can Never be a Secret
by Kevin Caruso
If someone tells you that he or she is suicidal, and then tells you not to tell anyone,
you must tell other people, and you must get help for the person immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK immediately, or
if you are outside of the U.S., call anyone who can help you.
Being a true friend means not letting the person who you care for die by suicide.
Indeed, the price for "keeping the secret" of someone's suicidal thoughts could be the death of the person.
You can never keep a secret if someone's life is in danger. Never.
Do not think that you are betraying your friend, because you are not. You are helping your friend.
How is letting your friend die helping him or her?
Preventing him or her from dying is helping.
If someone tells you that he or she is thinking of dying by suicide, then you need to get help for that person immediately. If it is a young person, call his or her parents. And tell other adults, like teachers and administrators at your school. And call 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.
People who want to die by suicide almost always have an untreated mental illness. Oftentimes that illness is depression. And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
People who tell you that they want to die by suicide are not thinking clearly - they can't think clearly. They have a chemical imbalance in their brain.
They are not themselves. The mental illness is talking, not them.
So you must get help for them right away.
And do not think that people who talk about suicide do not die by suicide.
People who talk about suicide often die by suicide.
You must always take suicidal talk seriously. Always.
Do not think that someone just "wants attention."
Get help for the person, and let professionals assess the individual.
Never try to assess an individual by yourself. And never try to help a suicidal person by yourself.
People die by suicide because they are experiencing intense emotional pain. And they want the pain to stop. And the intense emotional pain is caused by or exacerbated by a mental illness, like depression.
So people who are suicidal need treatment.
So always take immediate action if someone says that he or she wants to die by suicide.
Call 1-800-SUICIDE or or 1-800-273-TALK . Call people who know him or her. And in an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Keeping a secret can be deadly.
Especially when the secret is about a friend's desire to die by suicide.
So do the right thing.
Tell people. Ask for help.
Call 1-800-SUICIDE or or 1-800-273-TALK.
And prevent a suicide.
Secrets can kill.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.