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Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

A close friend seems really stressed and mentioned “wanting out.” I’m worried she’s thinking about suicide. How do I even begin to talk to her?

Anytime a fellow Soldier talks or jokes about wanting out, take it seriously.

Tips for talking to a friend

Ask (if she is considering harming herself)

  • Asking shows you care
  • Avoid advice, arguing, or down playing how she feels

Care

  • Listen without judgment
  • Offer reassurance

Escort

  • Never leave your friend alone—in person or on the phone. Offer to escort her to see a behavioral health provider, chaplain, or a primary care provider. If you’re on the phone, ask that she please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 for the Military Crisis Line.

The Lifeline is staffed 24/7 by people who understand what Soldiers have been through and the daily challenges your friend and you face. It’s a confidential and free service.

If you believe your friend is in immediate danger, call 911.

If you need support talking to your friend, you can also call the 24/7 free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 for the Military Crisis Line.  You can also send a text to 838255 or have a confidential live chat to help you help your friend.

Want more?

Read more about suicide warning signs and how to talk to your friend or family member.