He and his mother were trying to decide if he should be admitted to our local psychiatric hospital. There are two reasons for admittance. 1) You are a risk to others. You might actually hurt someone. 2) You are a risk to yourself. You might actually hurt yourself. That's it. Anything else and the ER will send you right back home. Those are the magic words that = admittance. Bear in mind, however, that there is a difference between wanting to die and making plans having obtained what one needs to implement that plan.
What will they do for you there? That depends somewhat on the quality of the institution. First of all, they will remove all strings and sharp objects from your possession. Then they will keep you under constant surveillance until no longer deemed a risk which typically happens through stabilization resultant from med changes. Lastly, hopefully, they may have counselors there to help you deal.
So what's the down side? Those hospitalized with you may have come from families very different than yours, scary different. Mom and Dad can only come during visitation hours, very dissimilar from when you had tonsils or an appendix out. You can't leave until the doctor says so, days to weeks from now even if you change your mind.
Even so, you'll live to tell about it.