This article brings up an important discussion and is worth the re-sharing here.
The suggestions found here I might add the following advice:
1) If you ask if I am ok, be prepared to hear “ Yeah, I am ok, I am always ok, things can always be better and they can always be worse therefore I am always ok.” A better way to ask this question might be “How are you really feeling?”
2) Please do not ask me to let you know if I need anything. A lot of people make this offer and aren’t really prepared to do anything or they are looking to me to have a plan. If I am in a distressed state trying to figure out how to help myself is hard enough, let alone trying to figure out how someone else might help me. Perhaps if you are looking to help someone in crisis, have a few things you are willing to do. I can say if someone is in crisis they might just need you to be present just showing up counts for a lot. Another option is to help them clean their house, or make them some food, it can be difficult to keep up on basic self-care when in crisis.
3) Don’t just suggest someone seek professional help. Barriers to healthcare access is real in this country. Finding a good therapist is often an incredibly difficult task and figuring out paperwork, making appointments, and showing up while in crisis is very difficult. So unless you are prepared to find free resources, make the appointment, and go with someone to that appointment, this solution is judgmental and useless. Sometimes suicidal thinking is a rational response to a crisis, but being their and validating someones emotional state can help reduce the urgency of those feelings. DBT Tipp skills are great for this if you are ever looking for a resource to help someone in crisis.