The entire article is at Richmond Family Magazine. But the quotes were included only in the print version so I have included them below.

Here are some thoughts young people have shared with me about why they don’t want to tell people about suicidal ideation or what was said to them when they did:

“No one cares. No one will care when I’m gone.”
Male, age twelve

“It’s hard for a man in the African American community to admit he is hurting so much he’d want to kill himself. It makes me look weak and that’s how I’d be seen by my bros. I’d rather die.”
Male, age twenty-six

“I did tell my dad and he told me to ‘pray on it.’ It’s just better for me to end it.”
Male, age fifteen, who lives in a remote rural community

“I told my mom and sister and they both said I was drama queen.”
College freshman

“I’m afraid my mom and dad will no longer be proud of me.”
Male, age fifteen

“I’m afraid the army will find out and I’ll never get promotions … That’s why I drive 45 minutes to see a private counselor. I don’t want them to know.”
Black male army recruit

“I’m gay and now that I’ve come out, I feel the pressure in the LGBTQ community to look and act a certain way and I just don’t fit that mold.”
Young adult male (who looked up how to kill himself online)

“I love my parents a lot and I also don’t want to tell them about my worries because they are already stressed out with a lot of other things…”
Male middle school student, age eleven

“I first wanted to kill myself when I was eleven, and that’s the first time I self-harmed as well. My mom doesn’t believe in mental illness and thinks it’s a choice.”
Alex, age thirteen

“My social studies teacher saved my life, and as happy and grateful as I am to him, all he did was showed me he cared for probably less than an hour, and that is what saved my life. How can my life be so disposable that if it went the other way, I probably would have been dead. All I needed was one person to make me feel like they actually care.”
Alyssa, age fifteen

If you suspect someone might be thinking about suicide:

  1. Engage them in private conversation.
  2. Listen with empathy – no fixing.
  3. Ask directly, “Are you thinking about suicide?”
  4. Connect the person with help or support (another friend or relative or crisis hotline: 9-8-8). You can call the crisis line for guidance while you are with that person.