At the moment I'm reading up for an assessment task I'm doing and I came across something that interested me. Suicide; the wilful taking of one's life. I stopped for a moment to read some studies about the reasons behind people wanting to end their lives and I was surprised to see this statement:
"One of the most destructive myths about suicide is that people who talk openly about suicide are just seeking attention and don't actually intend to carry out the act. Yet research shows that a high proportion of suicide attempts - perhaps 80 percent - are preceded by some king of warning" (Bagley & Ramsay, 1997).
They all thought you were joking. Does that prove their ignorance? Never joke about your friends who are talking about something like that. And for heaven's sake, don't pretend they don't mean it unless you actually want one less person in your life. Be supportive, not judgemental.