Suicide Prevention - Question, Persuade, Refer


If you suspect that a friend is contemplating or considering suicide, this is a serious matter. Below are some ways you can help—question, persuade and refer.


The most beneficial thing you can do is to ask your friend if they are thinking about suicide. This makes it clear as to what is going on and will be a relief for both you and your friend. It can be intimidating, but it can save a life! For suggestions on how to ask, check out our Tips and Ways to Ask the Suicide Question page.


If your friend says that they have been thinking about or planning suicide, the next step is to persuade them to get help. For example you could ask, “Will you go with me to get help?” or “Will you let me help you get help?” Offering hope of any form can be extremely powerful. Also, listen to them without judgment.

Step 3: REFER

The following is the best three ways to referral someone:

  1. Taking the person directly to someone who can help.
  2. Getting a commitment from them to accept help, and make arrangements to get that help.
  3. Give them information about resources and get a commitment that they will not to complete or attempt suicide.

Any willingness to get help at some time, even if in the future is a good outcome.


If your friend resists getting help and you are worried about their safety or unsure of what to do, call someone for support!

  • Try calling CAPS (303) 492-6766 or PHP (303) 492-5654
  • In the case of an emergency dial 9-1-1.


Information adapted from QPR materials.