Feeling suicidal means feeling more pain than you can cope with at the time. But remember, no problem lasts forever.
With help, you can feel better and keep yourself safe. People get through this. People who feel as badly as you feel now. So get help now. You can survive.
There are things you can do to relieve the pain and reduce the desire to end your life.
If you haven’t already made a safety plan, there’s advice on how to make one later in this article.
Your suicidal thoughts do not have to become a reality. Promise yourself you’ll wait at least 24 hours before acting, to give you time to get help. Focus on getting through today, not the rest of your life.
Remove objects you could use to hurt yourself, like pills, knives, or razors. Ask a someone you trust to look after them. If you can’t do that, go to a place where you are safe.
They can make emotions more volatile, affect your judgment, make you feel more hopeless and greatly increase your risk of hurting yourself impulsively.
It could be a friend, family member, medical professional, member of your spiritual group, teacher, or helpline counsellor. Just talking can release a lot of the pressure and help you find a way to cope.
Even if few things bring you pleasure at the moment, force yourself to do the things you used to enjoy and focus your attention there. Here are some suggestions:
List the things in your life you value, no matter how small. These may include family, friends or pets, spiritual beliefs, everyday pleasures or favourite memories. Keep the list on you, and read it if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts.
You may have always wanted to travel to a particular place, read a specific book, own a pet, move to another place, start a hobby, volunteer, go back to school, or start a family. Write those goals down.
Experiencing extreme emotional pain can be a traumatizing experience. Psychological treatments can help, as can medication and support, or a combination of the three. Ask your GP where to start.
Triggers are thoughts, moods, behaviour or situations that lead to despair and suicidal thoughts. They might include alcohol, relationship stress or an anniversary of a loss. Knowing them before they happen will help you feel in control and get help early.
A safety plan is a set of steps you can follow during a crisis. Stick it on your fridge, your bedroom door, keep it on your phone. The phone app beyondnow can help with a safety plan, or you can use our example:
This can include getting out of bed, showering, walking around the block, making a healthy meal. Stick to your schedule as much as possible, especially when your feelings seem out of control.
Find new hobbies, volunteer activities, or work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re doing things you find fulfilling, you’ll feel better about yourself and further from despair.
Eat healthily and get regular sleep. Exercise really helps, as it releases endorphins, relieves stress and promotes emotional well-being.
Get together with others, even if you don't feel like it at first. Surround yourself with positive influences and good people. The more you’re invested in other people and your community, the more you’ll stay positive and on the recovery track.
Find healthy ways to keep stress down. Use your Soothe & Distract strategies, exercise, meditate, practise simple breathing exercises, challenge self-defeating thoughts.
Come back to this article when you’re at your lowest, or print it out and keep it with you, or put it on the fridge where you can easily access it. Whatever works best for you, to help you get through this.