Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal Thoughts

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  • Introduction
  • Immediate Help
  • If you think someone may be suicidal



If you are having thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please seek help now.

Many people have suicidal thoughts. Often people have suicidal thoughts or feelings as they feel there is no other way out or alternative for them.  Others may not know why they have suicidal thoughts, which can in turn lead to guilt and confusions.

It is important to remember that there are people who do want to help you. Many people find that talking to another person, such as a friend, family member, or professional can make a real difference. There are also several helplines you can call for immediate help. See before for some of these.


Immediate Help

Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) are open 24/7, all year round for immediate support.  You can also email Samaritans at

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Childline (0800 1111) is a free helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls will not cost anything or show up on your phone bill.

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) supports young men who are finding it difficult to cope. As well as the website, CALM also has a helpline (0800 58 58 58).


If You Think Someone May Be Suicidal

If you suspect someone may be feeling suicidal, ask them – it could save their life.

Most people thinking about suicide will try to let someone know. There are several signs to watch out for. Everyone is different so in some cases few or none of these signs are evident; however here are some of the most common signs are:

  • Talking about not seeing the point or a way out of their situation or wanting to die,
  • has been through stressful life events or experienced significant losses and doesn’t seem to be coping
  • giving away prized possessions
  • Starting to putting affairs in order e.g. arranging wills, pet or childcare
  • Showing marked changes in behaviour, appearance or mood, they seem distracted, sad, distant or lacking concentration. Also watch out for sudden uplift in mood or calmness as this can sometimes be because the person feels they have found a solution to their problems, no matter how drastic this may be
  • Made a previous suicide attempt


You can help. Remember be ALERT:

Ask if they are thinking about suicide. You may feel frightened to bring up the subject of suicide in case you think it will put the idea in their head. This is not true. Don’t hesitate to raise the subject. Be direct in a caring and supportive way.

Listen and show you care. Let the person talk about their feelings and listen carefully to what they have to say. Don’t judge them and try and understand why they are feeling this way. Let them know you care.

Encourage them to get help and support them to do so. Asking and listening are the first steps in developing a sense of hope. Now is the time to move forward with this hope and get help to keep the person safe. You may feel out of your depth to help the person, but there are people out there who can and you can put them in touch with someone who is qualified and able to help them.

Right now. If the person has an immediate suicide plan and means to carry it out, do not leave them alone. Get help immediately by phoning 999, a doctor, a local crisis support service (look in a phone book, Yellow Pages or Thomson Directory) or one of the helplines below.

Tell someone. Never promise secrecy. Dealing with suicide can be difficult and you can’t do it alone. Find someone to talk to about your own feelings.


Related Links

Breathing Space

Need Help Now Page



Useful links

Mind Suicidal Feelings information