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The Law & You

How Can I Help a Suicidal Friend?

The Law & You
April 30, 2018

The Law and You

How Can I Help a Suicidal Friend?

A viewer is concerned a friend may try to take his own life. Is there anything he can do for his suicidal friend? Pennsylvania attorneys Ed Ciarimboli and Molly Clark shed some light on a disturbing situation.

Dave Kuharchik: It’s time once again for “The Law & You,” featuring the area’s premier attorneys, attorneys Molly Clark, who’s in for Greg tonight, and Ed Ciarimboli. Thanks for being here.

Ed Ciarimboli: Dave, you look like a million bucks today.

Dave: Thank you. You both do as well.

Ed: Well Molly makes us both look good.

Dave: For sure. Our question tonight is a tough one involving suicide. Jack from Plymouth says, “If I think that a friend may be suicidal what can I do to report him and try to get him help?” What would you say to Jack?

Ed: This is a really sad situation. Actually, I did mental health work for eight years. What you want to do is call the helpline, you want to explain the situation. And if this particular person has access to a handgun or has done something to harm themselves or somebody else, they may ask you to be a partitioner in what’s called a 302. Which means it’s an involuntary commitment. It’s a very delicate situation, you want to use every resource possible. Try to get him as much help as you can. What else can they do?

Molly Clark: The only thing I can think of is contacting their family physician, stay in touch with them, get their family members involved. There’s no liability or any legal issue here that I can think of other than what Eddie said of the respect to the 302. But I would say stay as involved as you can, get them the help that they need, call their doctor, call their family members.

Ed: Get as much documentation as you can. The 302, you use it as a last resort. You are completely taking away this individual’s rights. They’re involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital for a period of up to 72 hours. It’s really devastating, both on the individual and on family and friends. Do whatever you can to try and help them out.

Dave: Lots to consider. Results matter with attorneys Molly Clark and Ed Ciarimboli. Thank you so much.

Ed: Thanks, Dave.

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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