Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone and 6,000 people die by suicide each year in the UK. About 1 in 5 people will experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their life. Thankfully, only a minority of people who have suicidal thoughts go on to take their lives.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, let friends and family know what’s going on for you. They may be about to offer support and help and keep you safe. There’s no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings – starting the conversation is what’s important.
If you find it difficult to talk to someone you know, you could:
- Call your GP – ask for an emergency appointment
- Call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need
- Contact your mental health crisis team – if you have one
You can also contact one of these free helplines:
- Buckinghamshire CAMHS – Mental Health services for those under 21
Call 01865 901951
- Buckinghamshire AMHT – Mental Health services for adults
Call 01865 901600
- NHS help online – for everyone
- Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page
- SaneLine – for everyone
Call 0300 304 7000 – 4pm -10:30pm every day
- Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday: 10am to 10pm, Weekends: 2pm to 10pm, Bank Holidays: 2pm to 5pm
- Mind infoline
Call 0300 123 3393 – weekdays 9am – 6pm, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for coping right now
- try not to think about the future – just focus on getting through today
- stay away from drugs and alcohol
- get yourself to a safe place, like a friend’s house
- be around other people
- do something you usually enjoy, such as spending time with a pet
Worried about someone else?
There are many reasons why someone can have suicidal thoughts or feelings, but the right action can help and support them. People often just need someone to talk to. If you’re worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, you might feel unsure of what to do, but there are lots of things that might help. You could:
- Encourage them to talk about their feeling
- Encourage them to seek treatment and support
- Offer emotional support
- Offer practical support
- Help them think of ideas for self-help
- Help them to make a support plan
Here are some warning signs to look out for that could indicate someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings:
- Talking of feeling hopeless and that life is not worth living.
- Talking about feeling trapped.
- Saying that friends and family would be better off without them.
- Talking or writing about death, dying and suicide.
- A sudden lift in mood after a period of severe depression.
- Looking into methods or the means to end their own life.
- Putting all their affairs in order, such as sorting out possessions or making a will.
- Saying that they can hear voices that end their own life.
If you notice any of these warning signs in a friend, relative or loved one, encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling and to contact one of the support organisations above.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention is calling for everyone to light a candle near a window at 8pm on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10th September. Find out more here