To the Suicidal Patient in the Emergency Room, I Am Your Nurse


Hi, there.

I am your nurse. I am so sorry you had to come to the ER, but I am so proud of you. You are so brave. I know people say, “Just go to the ER,” but I understand how big of a step you just took. Thank you for choosing to come when death can seem better than living.

I don’t know what is going to happen after you leave the ER, but I can tell you what is going to happen while you are here. We are going to keep you safe. You don’t have to try so hard anymore. You can cry. You can scream. You are in the safest place you can be, in my nursing care.

I want to warn you a lot is going to happen and it is going to happen pretty quickly. If you have any questions, ask for me and I’ll be here to answer your questions the best I can. I’m here to listen if you want to talk, but silence is just fine, too.

The doctor will be in shortly and is going to ask you a lot of questions about your past. You see, sometimes medical conditions can cause depression and anxiety and we need to rule those out. The questions are personal. It is important that you answer honestly. You might feel you are at the end of your rope and I know it can be scary, but you deserve the help you need. You’ve jumped the first hurdle, getting yourself here. Other hurdles are coming, but I’ll be here helping you. You are my patient and I am your nurse.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via dolgachov.


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