Someone, in a thread that was closed when it got off track, asked how to deal with suicide threats. There are some simple telephone guidelines that all should know in the event someones calls you and states that they are going to take their own life. 1. Take every threat seriously although some threats are just cries for attention. We don't know which will fizzle or explode. The results are too drastic to take any risk. 2. Keep the person talking. As long as they're talking, they're not carrying out the threat. 3. While talking with the individual, get help (e.g. police, relatives, neighbors, etc.) directed to where they are. 4. Find out how serious the threat is. Ask how they plan to commit suicide. If they name a specific means (i.e. gun, poison, etc.), then they are probably taking steps to do it. If they don't know, then you may have some time to get help. 5. Ask specific questions such as if they have the gun or poison, etc. in their possession. 6. If they have gun, poison, etc. in hand, ask the person to put it on a shelf, in a drawer, etc. to remove it from their immediate reach. 7. Give them something to do. For example, tell them that you want them to slow down, take some deep breaths, and explain why they feel the need commit suicide. You may ask them to drink water or start coffee brewing especially if they agree for you to come over and talk with them. 8. By all means, remain calm and talk rationally with the person asking questions and showing concern. Lead them to consider their situation through directed questioning. 9. Do not hang up the phone, if possible, until the someone is physically present with the other person. In conversation with the suicide threat, emphasize the following but don't confront or argue. 1. God's love for the individual. 2. God's promise of His abiding presence. 3. Your love for the person. 4. God's sovereign control over human affairs. 5. Trust and faith in God. Quoting Scripture, especially Psalms and other passages born in midst of sorrow and adversity, may comfort the individual. BTW, getting medical or professional help is not usually the complete answer because many people on drug therapy and in psychiatric counseling commit suicide. Family and friends probably play a larger, more decisive role than so-called professional help. Suicidial people need the loving, personal support of family and friends that cannot be accomplished by professionals. However, it takes a huge commitment of one's time and energy to meet this need.