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Here are 9 things you should do if you learn that a youth is considering suicide:

1. Take any/all threats of suicide seriously!.
2. State that you care and remain with the youth
3. Ask them if they are thinking of harming or killing themselves
4. Reinforce how important they are to you
5. Focus on concern for their well-being
6. Help them understand that the circumstances will change/improve
7. Talk in a calm, non-accusatory manner
8. Tell them they are not alone
9. Assure them that there is help available and guide them to professional help

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ-identified youth: 1-866-488-7386

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Dr. Chris Downs has devoted much of his professional career to improving services and outcomes for older, at-risk youth. Chris is President of The Downs Group LLC, based in Seattle and has the pleasure of working with many talented professionals in child welfare and allied areas including his company Associates.