Communicate Using T-A-D

Talking about suicide, depression, or basically anything to do with mental health can be incredibly hard. Learn how to communicate to someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts by using T-A-D. Watch the video below and always if someone is in crisis contact the nearest emergency service immediately.


Talk to the individual in a calm nonjudgmental manner and take notice of changes in their behaviors, mood, and what they say.




Ask questions and be direct. Questions that are okay to ask: “Do you ever feel so bad that you think about suicide?; Do you have a plan to kill yourself or take your life?; Have you thought about what method you would use?”




Decide to give the individual The TAD Project website as a resource in case of another emergency. Don’t take on the burden of caring for the individual alone and seek further professional support.



Signs Something Might be Wrong


While mental illness can manifest in a variety of ways, there are common items that signal to you that something may be going on. Below are some characteristics to watch for.

  • Withdrawing from social activities or appearing down for more than 2 weeks. This could mean crying regularly, feeling tired all the time or not wanting to hang out anymore.
  • Self-harming actions such as cutting or burning. Some people may begin to wear long sleeves or pants to cover up signs that they are doing this.
  • Threatening to kill his- or herself or making plans to do so. Although you may not know whether your friend is serious or not, it’s better to be safe and take things seriously.
  • Extreme out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors. Behaviors that can endanger his or her own life as well as others, such as speeding excessively and not obeying traffic laws, might be a sign that something is wrong.
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, including intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends.
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight. Pay attention if your friend isn’t eating much at lunch or going to the bathroom right after meals.
  • Severe mood swings. Life is stressful, but if there seem to be outbursts that go beyond how other people would often act, it might mean something more serious.
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol. Coming to class hungover, showing up to sporting events intoxicated or wanting to bring drugs or alcohol into daily activities is not normal.
  • Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits. Your friend might be sleeping much more or much less or get agitated more frequently.
  • Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still.

Source: NAMI



Learn What Professionals Can Help



General Practitioner

A doctor of medicine (MD) is not a trained mental health professional, but often prescribes medications to treat psychological conditions and can refer to MH professionals. They cannot provide therapy but will provide referrals to mental health professionals.


Clinical Psychologist

Holds a doctoral degree (Psy.D. or Ph.D.) and through observation, interviews and psychological testing, psychologists will diagnose any existing or potential psychological disorders. Together with the client, they formulate a program of treatment according to the client’s needs.


Clinical Social Worker

LCSWs may work with individuals to enhance social functioning and overall well-being. They LCSW does work that specializes in mental health therapy in a counseling format. An LCSW has a holistic approach that factors in the individual's strengths and environment when helping an individual.


Licensed Professional Counselor 

An LPC may work with individuals, families or groups on a number of mental health issues. LPCs help the individual develop more effective coping strategies and use a number of treatment techniques that could include (CBT) cognitive behavioral therapy or others.



A doctor of medicine (MD) that can diagnose, evaluate, and prescribe medications. They are capable of doing therapy but can choose to not engage in therapeutic endeavors.

Learn About the Crisis Resources Available 24/7

It can be any mix of overwhelming, confusing, or frustrating when you want to help your loved one. What you’re feeling is okay, and there are ways you can help. With social support and resources, things can start to brighten up.


Share a Story With Us

With stories that offer hope, humor, and connection, our contributors are proof that it’s OK to talk about depression. Wherever you are in your journey, we’d love to share your story with our community.

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This information presented by Mental Health Communication Project Co. aka The TAD Project is not a substitute for medical care or advice. If you require assistance with any mental health or medical issue, please contact your health care provider for any medical care or medical advice.