My boyfriend is extremely suicidal. He made a promise when he was 12, now 17, that he wouldn’t kill himself until he turned 18(in August). He’s tried once before though. He’s never told anyone, besides the person he made the promise to, before, and most of the time he has no intention of changing his mind. However, there have been a few times where he sounds like he has a tiny bit of hope. He believes I deserve better and he tries to find someone ‘better’ and different for me for when he’s gone so I don’t try to kill myself as well, even though I’ve told him not to. I’m aware that people typically don’t mention their suicidal feelings unless they want help. I’m just not sure what to do.

A. It is very difficult and inadvisable for a layperson to attempt to directly help someone who is suicidal. This is a serious situation that requires more help that you can directly provide. I would strongly urge you to immediately tell his parents. If they won’t listen, then tell someone at his school, his principal, a teacher, the school nurse, etc. In case of an emergency, call 911.

This is not something that should be kept a secret. Your boyfriend needs professional help as soon as possible. The only proper way to handle the situation is to tell someone immediately. I hope you will consider my advice. You can help him by trying to get him professional help. Do all that you can to get him to a therapist. Never act like a therapist if you are not a therapist. Suicidal clients require the utmost skill and care. Only trained professionals can provide this help. You can help only by getting him to such a professional. Do the best you can. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle