I recently came out to my friends and to my parents. But this isn’t about me at all. I have a friend who is gay and has many emotional issues. Every time he gets into a fight with his boyfriend (now ex) he gets very depressed. He has said many times that it would be better if he was dead. I managed to stop it for now, but I don’t know how much longer I will be able to. My parents don’t understand that I care about my friends and that I want to keep them safe. They say that it is none of my business. They don’t understand me, or what I have been going through for years. I recently lost a great (straight) friend to suicide and felt so helpless in the situation. I don’t want to go to another funeral for a suicide victim. I don’t know what to do any more and how to make him feel better about himself. Any suggestions, so that I don’t have to see someone who is younger than me in a casket? Thanks plenty.
You sound like a terrific friend, and your friend is lucky to have you on his side. Unfortunately, there are no magical words to say to someone who is severely depressed which are guaranteed to improve his mood and outlook. The best most of us can do in such situations is to let the friend know how much we care about him and that we are available to him for support. And being supportive generally means being the best listener you can be, rather than focusing on “talking him out of” feeling depressed.
And—most importantly—you should not hesitate to notify a responsible adult about your concerns for your friend’s mental state. It sounds like you have tried to do this with your parents, but since they have not been responsive—and if speaking directly with your friend’s parents is not possible—I strongly encourage you to speak with a school counselor or teacher about your friend’s expression of suicidal feelings.
You are also encouraged to call The Trevor Helpline at 866.4.U.TREVOR (866.488.7386), if you would like to talk through your options with a trained counselor. Of course, you should also give your friend the helpline number (written down on a piece of paper) and should urge him to call.