Be clear, concise, and use the words ‘suicide’ or ‘Are you thinking of ending your life’ so that you are both clear that it is suicide you are talking about. Don’t be afraid of using the term and ask about suicide directly. Remember, nearly always it’s not that they want to end their life, it’s that they want the situation to end and currently they don’t know how else to do that. Talking with you, now, may help them work out other solutions.