When someone refuses help or denies a problem

If the person denies suicidal thoughts and you still have concerns about his or her safety, let the person know by saying something like: “You say you aren’t going to kill yourself, but I'm still concerned about you.”


After expressing your continued concern, you have the following options for dealing with the denial:

  • Reassure the person that help is available and that you will help them get it.
  • Encourage the person to identify their resources and help the person get connected.
  • Consider calling parents or involving significant others, consulting with a mental health professional, or contacting other appropriate resources like a Resident Director.
  • Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble.
  • Take the person directly to the appropriate source of help.
  • Make sure the person is not left alone until the immediate crisis has passed.