Suicidal Thoughts? There is a way through
If you are feeling suicidal it is important to find someone you trust and who can help you stay safe - don’t be alone, there are people who are able to help you. Taking your life might feel like an option for dealing with intolerable distress, an impossible situation or when you feel like you are a burden. But situations change, people change, things do get better and there are always other options and choices, you might just not be able to see them. Other people can help you find a way through.
Are you having these thoughts?
• Feelings of hopelessness
• I can’t do anything to change this
• I want to die
• I know how I would take my life
Are you saying or thinking...
• No one would care if I was dead
• I might as well just kill myself
• What’s the point of going on?
• No one will miss me if I’m gone
• People would be better off if I was gone
Is it less obvious?
Are you showing your distress and asking for help in other less obvious ways? Perhaps you have lost interest in your wellbeing and your hygiene. You may be avoiding people or pushing people away. Are you taking risks and engaging in self-harming behaviour? If you feel this way, speak to your doctor.
Managing suicidal thoughts
Get help immediately -Find someone to talk to and tell them how you are feeling. You are important and valuable. You matter to others. Let people help you. Everyone needs support some time. What you are struggling with is a huge challenge, but there are solutions and strategies and people available to help you. You are not alone.
Make a safety plan - Work on this with others so you have a plan to keep yourself safe. Identify what triggers your thoughts and feelings, identify your reasons for living, write down what you can do when in a crisis (what actions you and others can take to keep you safe) how you can distract yourself, who you can connect with and what support you can access.
Look for hope - Imagine some years into the future, when all this has passed, and how much better it will look. You have probably coped with tough times in the past and made it through, believe in yourself. Listen to others who have hope for you. Surround yourself with positive people.
Problem-solve - Think about how you have managed tough times in the past. What strategies did you use? Who or what might help you get through this? What is one thing you can do that might make a small difference to your situation?
Look for purpose - Make a list of reasons for living. You only need one reason. You matter to others and to the world. What is one thing you can do for others? What gives your life meaning or helps you feel alive? What might you learn from your current experience? How might surviving this help you be stronger?
Manage overwhelming emotions - Use relaxation techniques to manage overwhelming feelings like anger and anxiety. Slow down, take some deep breaths, find a sense of calm and think before you act. Get some sleep. A walk in nature or a run, or quiet meditation. Do something you know you enjoy and that helps you find some inner calm.
Try distraction - Find an activity that will absorb your attention and give you a break from feeling upset, angry or hopeless (e.g. a game or reading). A physical group activity is particularly good, like a team game, or even a board game. Do something that will require you to concentrate and focus on your body or a task.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs - These may cloud your judgement and cause you to behave recklessly. Keep a clear mind and check your thinking with others – they can help you weigh up options and think through consequences.
Where to get further help
If you are not in immediate danger, talk to your doctor or ring one of the following:
• Need to Talk? Phone or text 1737
• Lifeline - 0800 543 354
• Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
• Healthline - 0800 611 116
• Samaritans - 0800 726 666
• Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865
In a crisis or emergency
If you are feeling suicidal or have attempted suicide - get help immediately.
• If you are in immediate danger of hurting yourself or others, call 111.
• Go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital or call your local mental health crisis assessment team.
• Get someone to come and stay with you until support arrives.
Credit: Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC) Christchurch New Zealand (http://mherc.org.nz/)
• Get help immediately - Find someone to talk to and tell them how you are feeling. You are not alone.
• Make a safety plan -Write down what you and others can do in a crisis to keep you safe.
• Look for hope - Imagine the future when all this has passed, how much better it will look.
• Problem-solve - Think about how you have managed tough times in the past.
• Look for purpose - Make a list of reasons for living.
• Manage overwhelming emotions - Slow down, take some deep breaths, and think before you act.
• Try distraction - Find an activity that will absorb your attention e.g. a game or reading.
• Avoid alcohol and other drugs
Don't want to miss anything?
Get the latest recipes, workouts, success stories, tips and more right in your inbox.