“Are you suicidal?”

Troubling findings about suicide crisis lines:

Two of the unprecedented studies involved eavesdropping on suicide hot-line calls – in which the researchers heard things like that terrifying rifle shot – and two main conclusions came out of the work: One, many crisis-line callers are indeed in suicidal distress (and not just lonely or sad) and they are helped by talking to an empathetic fellow human being. And two, the call centers fail, with alarming regularity, to ask some very basic questions: Are you suicidal? Do you have a plan? Do you have the tools at hand to carry it off? Are you alone and drinking?