“My best friend just found out she’s pregnant, and her boyfriend totally ghosted her when he learned the news. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents, and she’s terrified to tell them.
She’s just let me know that she feels so hopeless that she’s thinking of suicide! I don’t know what to do to help her.”
When a friend says she’s thinking about suicide, it’s normal to feel powerless. You probably feel like you don’t know what to do to help her. But, taking action is your best choice. So, here are some questions you can ask to determine if she’s in danger of acting upon her feelings.
- What can I do to help you cope right now?
- Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?
- Have you started to work out the details of how to kill yourself?
- Have you ever thought about suicide before this?
- In the past three months, have you started to do anything, or prepared to do anything to end your life?
Asking her about her suicidal thoughts and feelings about her pregnancy won’t push her into doing something harmful to herself. On the contrary, offering to talk to her about what’s she’s feeling can help reduce the risk of acting upon her suicidal feelings.
Remind your friend that there are people who can help her walk through this challenging situation. Even though it’s hard, she can work things out with or without her parent’s involvement. There are resources available to get the help she needs with the pregnancy.
Getting Help From the Suicide Hotline
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to get help for them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741)
If your friend attempts suicide
If your friend attempts suicide, get help. Don’t try to handle the situation by yourself.
- Please don’t leave her alone.
- Call 911 or take her to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Tell her family members what’s going on right away.
She Has Options
Remind your friend she has options for her pregnancy. Abortion is often the first thought when an unexpected pregnancy happens, but it’s not the only option.
Another option could be adoption. Adoption gives your friend’s baby a chance to grow up with a loving family. She has the opportunity to see her baby growing up, happy and healthy with modern, open adoption.
Talking About the Adoption Option
Adoption agencies, like Lifetime Adoption, have trained and experienced adoption coordinators available 24/7 to talk to your friend no matter what she decides. She has three options:
She can call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784. They’ve helped many women in similar situations. Lifetime extends compassionate care to all birth mothers. They are ready to provide support through every step of the adoption process.
Free Adoption Services for Birth Mothers
Here are some of the adoption services available to pregnant women looking into adoption:
- 24-hour birth mother adoption services to answer questions. Just call or text 1-800-923-6784.
- Counseling and confidential decision-making help
- Compassionate, personalized attention and support no matter her decision
- Information on open or semi-open adoption
- Access to information about adoptive families
- Assistance in making an adoption plan
- Help to learn about legal adoption rights for birth mothers and fathers
- Medical, legal, public aid, and housing referrals if she needs it
- Health care information
- Transportation to the doctor’s office by bus voucher or ride share service
- Maternity clothing and other things she may need
You can also download a free, short book for your friend about how adoption works at FreeAdoptionBook.com. It will also help her to talk with another woman who has been in her situation. Lifetime Adoption has a peer support network of birth mothers who would love to help her and share their story about why they chose adoption.
Telling Her Parents
Even though your friend is scared to tell her parents she’s pregnant, eventually, she needs to let them know. It may be helpful if you or someone she trusts to be there with her when she tells them. Here are some tips for her about how to tell her parents she’s pregnant:
- Think about what you want to say. Write it down and practice in front of a mirror.
- Don’t start with something like, “I have some bad news.” This will scare them. It’s best to be straightforward and say, “I have something difficult to tell you. This wasn’t planned, but I’m pregnant.”
- Be ready to answer their questions. They might ask you who the father is or how long you’ve been involved sexually. Think about any questions they might ask so you can have answers ready.
- You don’t know for sure what they’ll say or do. They could act shocked or hurt. Try not to take it personally. It’s normal for parents to feel anything from sadness to anger.
- Tell your parents how you feel. Maybe you’re scared or confused about what to do.
- Tell them what you need from them…their support, understanding, and advice.
- They may share their opinions about abortion or adoption and what you should do. You don’t need to decide at the moment. Take time and consider your options. Allow everyone to calm down before you make any decision.
If her parents love her, they will want what’s best for your friend. Their support and love may surprise her. Of course, not all parents handle this news well. If this is the case, remind your friend she’s not alone. Let her know you’re here for her, and encourage her not to be too hard on herself. Many people are ready to help her walk through this challenging season in her life.