I did a quick search of some of the resources available and was astonished to find so many out there! Here are just a few of some of the sites that I came across. Bonus to those of you in the DC area-a lot of them are located here in Washington!
There is a lot of great advice on these pages so I'm not going to give you much of my opinion. The one thing that I would like to stress is that if someone mentions having thoughts of suicide-take them seriously! Even if they say that they were just kidding or that they aren't going to do anything or beg you not to tell anyone, this is one secret that you cannot promise to keep. More often than not, words that seem fleeting are a real cry for help and the person who is struggling has finally mustered up the courage to say out loud what they have been thinking. Take them at their word-regardless of their age. Child, teenager, adult, elderly-take them seriously. Do not leave that person alone. Stay with them until you are able to leave them with someone you trust. And if the person of concern is your loved one, seek a doctor immediately. This could mean scheduling an emergency session with a pediatrician, a psychologist or going to your nearest emergency room. Follow-up care and monitoring will likely be needed.
I know that this all may seem a little bit dramatic. What if there really isn't anything wrong? What if that person had no intention of inflicting self-harm? Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure and this is a situation where you want a second opinion. You do not want to be the one making that call. Even a trained professional should seek another opinion when it is their loved one who is suffering. Love, emotion, and concern can cloud anyone's judgement.
I know that this is not the most uplifting topic, but it is an important one. Check out the websites above and get to know the signs and symptoms of suicide and depression. You just might save a life!