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Suicidal feelings

If you’re feeling so down that you can’t see a way out, you are not alone. Lots of people have felt like this and – with help – managed to get through it. However bad you are feeling right now, there is a lot of help out there for you.

What are suicidal feelings?

You might be feeling down and sad. But if those feelings have become very deep and intense, and you don’t know what to do about them, you might think the only solution is to end your life. But there is hope for you, and you can get through it.

You’re not the only one who feels this way – many people feel suicidal at some time in their lives. What’s important for you to know is that there are lots of ways of dealing with this feeling and overcoming it. It’s possible to come out the other side and feel okay again.

You might experience suicidal feelings if you:

  • are depressed or have another mental illness
  • struggle with low self-esteem
  • use drugs or alcohol, especially when you’re upset
  • feel anxious about pressures you face today or in the future
  • feel under pressure from family or your peers

These feelings can get in the way of everything else – so much that you might find it hard to believe that you can feel better. But you can, whatever the problem is.

What to do about feeling suicidal

It can be hard to talk about your feelings. But sharing your worries with someone you trust can help you see your problems in a different way, and understand that suicide is not the only option.

Here are some warning signs of suicidal feelings:

  • always talking or thinking about death
  • deep depression and sadness
  • losing interest in daily life
  • having increasing trouble sleeping and eating
  • feeling helpless or worthless
  • self-harming
  • feeling angry and that things can't change

If you experience any of the symptoms above, please don’t suffer in silence. You deserve help, and you will find that life is worth living.

Lucas' story: I’ve got through suicidal feelings – so can you

I started experiencing suicidal thoughts at a young age. I remember feeling very frightened about what was going on in my head; I really struggled to articulate how I was feeling. I didn’t really talk to anyone and things slowly bottled up. I felt like a bottle of pop and every little thing shook that bottle until one day the lid flew off.

I ended up going to hospital and saw the CAMHS crisis team there. I had a good chat with them and we formulated a crisis plan. After that, I had regular support from them and slowly realised the importance of talking. I ended up having a stay in an inpatient unit, where I received a diagnosis and a treatment plan. I also learnt coping strategies and overall learnt a lot about myself.

This was a few years ago, and since that time I have completed my GCSEs and A-level equivalent and got good grades. I hit a lot of goals and I’ve made some amazing lifelong friends along the way, mainly from my local inclusive rugby team who also showed me the importance of men talking about their mental health. The team massively helped with my confidence and still does. It can be so helpful to have people who support you and, even if you don’t feel like it sometimes, those people do exist for you.

To continue reading Lucas' story, visit 'I've got through suicidal feelings – so can you'

For more advice on coping with suicidal thoughts and feelings, have a look at C.K.'s blog:

How I cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings

Ways to get help

Take the first step and talk to someone you trust. If you’ve been thinking about ending your life, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust, like a family member, friend, or teacher.

If you don’t feel like you can speak to anyone you know, there are confidential helplines like the Samaritans, and safe online forums like The Mix, where you can get support from trained people who care and want you to feel better. We have a list of helplines and services available to you at the bottom of the page.

Speak to your GP and find out how to get help. This can be really daunting, but your GP will have heard from lots of people who are feeling like you are now. They will know what support and services are available in your local area. They can help you decide if medication like antidepressants might help you.

For information and tips on speaking to your GP about mental health, have a look at our guide.

Have you hurt yourself, or do you think you might be about to hurt yourself? Call 999 now.

How to support a friend who is feeling suicidal

  • Listen without judgement, stay calm and don’t overreact. 
  • Be aware it’s not your job to take away the pain or make it better. All you can do is be there, even if you don’t know what to say.
  • Encourage them to open up and help them identify a trusted adult (such as a teacher) they could talk to and who can help them find support. Some young people may be reluctant to talk to a parent in case they ‘freak out’ or because the parent him/herself suffers from mental health problems.
  • Help them build up a wider support network so they know who to contact 24/7 if they’re struggling, such as The Samaritans, Childline or the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger.
  • Make sure you talk to someone too. If you’re trying to support a friend who’s been thinking about suicide, that information can be a heavy burden to carry alone so share your feelings with someone you trust.

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.

All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.

Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.

Text: YM to 85258

Opening times: 24/7

Papyrus

Offers confidential advice and support for young people struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Its helpline service - HOPELINEUK - is available to anybody under the age of 35 experiencing suicidal thoughts, or anybody concerned that a young person could be thinking of suicide.

Phone: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07860039967

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 9am – 10pm, Monday - Friday; 2pm – 10pm, weekends; 2pm – 10pm, bank holidays

Samaritans

Whatever you're going through, you can contact the Samaritans for support.

Phone: 116 123

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 24/7

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Provides support to anyone in the UK who is feeling down and needs to talk or find information.

Free webchat service available.

Information about the helpline and how it works available here.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58

Opening times: 5pm - midnight, 365 days a year

Childline

If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

Phone: 0800 1111

Opening times: 9am - midnight, 365 days a year

The Mix

Offers support to anyone under 25 about anything that’s troubling them.

Email support available via their online contact form.

Free 1-2-1 webchat service available.

Free short-term counselling service available.

Phone: 0808 808 4994

Opening times: 4pm - 11pm, seven days a week

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