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Finding help if you're feeling suicidal

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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.

What to do if you feel immediately suicidal

  • Tell someone how you feel
  • Ask them to stay with you until you get help
  • Call a medical professional and tell them it is an emergency
  • Call your local hospital and ask for the Mental Health Team
  • Go to your GP or emergency department
  • Call a crisis helpline — they’re listed at the end of this article
  • Call 000

What to do in a crisis

  • Try to distance your thoughts and actions. Say to yourself, ‘I will wait 24 hours before I do anything’, so  you can seek help during that period
  • Put any items you could use to hurt yourself out of reach, or ask a trusted friend to look after them
  • Do something that has brought you even a small amount of pleasure before, such as taking a walk, listening to music, taking a hot bath, watching a funny movie, reading or some slow deep breathing
  • Get together with others, even if you don't feel like it, to prevent isolation
  • Reduce drug or alcohol use. These can make it more likely that you may harm yourself, by making you more impulsive and increasing feelings of depression
  • Write about your thoughts and feelings. Remember especially to write about the things in your life that you value and appreciate, no matter how small they may seem to you

What next?

Most suicidal thoughts are associated with underlying causes such as mental illness (for example, depression), a trauma or difficult life issues.

Psychological treatments can help, as can medication and support, or a combination of these. Remember people do get through this – even people who feel as badly as you feel now. So get help now – you can survive.

Contact the SANE Help Centre on 1800 18 SANE (7263), Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm for information on mental illness, guidance, and referral to support agencies in your community.

Where to call for help

For immediate assistance:

For information and advice on mental illness:

Last updated: 10 May 2021

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