How can you safely help someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts? What can parents look out for in their teenager’s behavior? What can you do to help others and yourself?

Last Sunday evening my family and I attended a Maverick City Music Concert and on our way home, as we were driving on the highway, I noticed a man on the ledge about to jump. We immediately pulled over and started talking him down. I knew I needed to share this story with you.

My dear friend Melissa Vogel did a podcast takeover and interviewed me about what transpired on that evening and we talk about what you could do and look out for if you suspect someone might be suicidal.

In This Podcast


  • Perform a suicidal assessment
  • What happens with a 5150
  • What parents can look out for
  • What can you do?

Perform a suicidal assessment

If you can, perform a suicidal assessment on the person in the situation:

  • Does this person have the intention of ending their life?
  • Do they have a plan?
  • Do they have the means?

The minute you check all three, oh yeah, you’re 5150, we’re going to hospitalize you, we have to hospitalize you because now you pose a threat to yourself and possibly others. (Veronica Cisneros)

If you are in this situation with someone, you have to run through every possibility to figure out what kind of situation this is.

Keep this in the back of your mind to remain aware because if you become complacent within a conversation with a person who is suicidal, you become endangered as well.

What happens with a 5150

When you site 5150, it refers to the law code for a temporary and involuntary commitment of an individual who displays psychiatric symptoms and could be a danger to themselves or others.

The person is often handcuffed to a gurney.

What parents can look out for

Right now my primary concern within my practice is these teens, we’re looking at kids that are in junior high that are cutting, that are having passive suicidal thoughts, that have intense suicidal thoughts. (Veronica Cisneros)

After the pandemic, Veronica’s practice saw a double – near triple – increase in teen and adolescent patients that were suffering from suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

If you are a parent and you’re concerned about your kid, look out for signs like:

  • Finding a note
  • If your child is taking like things would be better if they weren’t around
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Not playing or going out with friends anymore
  • A sudden or dramatic decrease in hobbies or passions that they used to enjoy
  • A noticeable decline in appetite
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

All of those are symptoms of depression. (Veronica Cisneros)

Even though it may sound counterintuitive, if you suspect that your kid is suicidal, ask them if they are. You may save their life by opening up that conversation with them.

Avoid fixing their problems for them, but encourage them to share their problems with you so that you can encourage them to find the solution.

Your kid is sharing something with you, so when your kid does open up, a great rule of thumb is … ask; “Is this something you want me to help you with? Or is this something you want to vent about?”

This empowers them, and it shows them that they are capable.

What can you do?

If you have ever thought, “It would be good if I just didn’t wake up tomorrow”, go seek out a therapist.

There are resources available for you, to help you, and to connect you with people who can help you.

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a licensed marriage and family therapist for over 7 years, a Group Private Practice owner, a Mother of 3, and married for over 20 years. I help housewives transform their marriage, communicate effectively and build confidence. Like you, I also struggled with cutting through the communication barriers. I felt like there was no reason for my husband and me to feel unhappy because we had it all. We just felt disconnected and our conversations were filled with avoidance, kids’ hobbies, and schedules. 

I’ve helped plenty of couples in my private practice who struggled with similar issues. With my proven strategies and step-by-step skills, I’ve helped hundreds of women reignite their marriages. I am known for helping women step outside of their comfort zones, I don’t do bandaids, I only teach life-changing healing methods.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or join our ‘Reconnect with your Husband’ Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!