My friend (I’ll call him Ed) and I are very close friends. We tell each other stuff that no one else could know about. He told me his dad abuses him. He gets emotional about it and will not get help because he’s afraid. I try to give advice, but it doesn’t work. I want him to tell his older brother, who he’s closest with in his family. But he won’t. He has done self-harm, thought of suicide, ran away, all because of his father. I’m scared he’s actually going to do suicide. I try hard to keep him happy and I get him to tell me what happens, then I give advice or make him feel better. But now, he hasn’t been telling me as much anymore because he doesn’t want to make me sad. Should I tell someone about his problem, or let him decide what to do?Abused friend thinks about suicide.
Abused friend thinks about suicide.
I’m very, very glad you wrote to me because this is serious. When a friend talks about abuse and suicide, it’s very important to get competent help as soon as you can. Please confide in an adult you trust who will know what to do. That could be your parents, a school counselor, a teacher, your doctor, a pastor, or a youth leader. This is too big a burden for you to handle alone. If your friend could reach for help, he would have done so already. The best way to be his friend is to help save his life, even if he will be mad at you for telling. Imagine how you would feel if he hurts himself and you didn’t try to get him help.
Either you or your friend could also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. at 1 800 273 TALK (8255). They have counselors available 24/7 to talk with people who are in despair and don’t know what to do. I called to check and you don’t need to be an American to call them.
I wish you and your friend well.