If I ask someone directly if they are thinking about suicide, I might make them think about it or act on it.
This is not accurate; there are numerous suicide first aid trainings being conducted in the world, and what research and trainings are teaching us is that you should ask someone directly about their thoughts of suicide. For example, “are you thinking about suicide?” or “are you thinking about killing yourself?”
Some may be wondering two questions about this reality:
What about asking, “are you thinking about hurting yourself” instead?
Do I have to say anything at all? And if so, why directly?
If someone you know is struggling, and you suspect they may be considering harming themselves, take a look at this article to help guide you in what to do for them. And ignore the myth!