General Listening Quiz

“Suicide Prevention”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult suicide and depression man – woman 04:46

Pre-Listening Exercise

In 2012, our son, Joshua, died by suicide (see, and we know that so many people around the world have had family or friends who have ended their lives. To provide help and open discussion, I decided to create this listening activity. So, to begin with, what are some of the reasons why people consider taking their own lives? What are some warning signs of suicide, and what are three things friends and family can do to help someone who might are thinking about suicide?


feel bummed out” = feel very depressed
My son felt really bummed out after some kids at school made fun of is clothes.”

your heart sinks” = feel very unhappy
My father’s heart sank when he found out my mom had cancer.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

Daniel has been depressed for ____ months.

Man: Well, for about six months, he's been really down, and sometimes, I can't get him out of bed in the morning to go to school. He just seems so depressed. I just can't figure it out.

One of the signs of Daniel's depression is that he ____.

Man: Well, uh, a lot of the time he's not up. He just kind of uh, stays in bed. [ Really? ] I just can't figure it out. I don't know.

What problem happened at school?

Man: Ah, no. I, I . . . It's probably just a phase or something. I think some kids were picking on him at school, but I think that's stopped. He doesn't talk about it anymore, so I guess that's over.

Daniel's girlfriend ____.

Man: I don't know. Uh, and well, his girlfriend just broke up with him, so I guess maybe that's had an impact on him.

Another sign that Daniel is suicidal is that he ____.

Woman: Yeah, it has. Uh, that explains a lot. Um, have you looked at his Facebook page lately? [ What? ] He posted some stuff, well, he was posting some stuff, I think it was last night around midnight, um, yeah, talking about how much life sucks, wishing he could just disappear.

The man and woman noticed ______ on Daniel's arms.

Man: You know, I recently noticed that that I just saw some marks on his arms the other day, and I didn't know. I asked him about it. Kind of looked like some scratches, or something, and . . .

The woman suggests ______ to help Daniel.

Woman: Um, you know, it might be kind of hard to get him out to the hospital, to get him out to go with you if you can't get him out to go to school, but you need to take this seriously. [ Yeah . . . ] You could take him down to the hospital, down to the emergency room, so . . .

Post-Listening Exercise

Have you ever experienced any of the pain and struggles Daniel is going through in the conversation? How did you feel and how did these experiences impact your life? What things have you found helpful in your own life to get yourself through a sad or depressive state?

Online Investigation

After you look over Josh’s Web site (, think of a comment or question you want to ask Randall about his son, Josh. Comments can be about depression, suicide, mental health issues, or ways in which Josh’s life and death have impacted the family. Then, post your questions or comments on Randall’s blog HERE: