SUICIDE is preventable, it’s not inevitable. 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?

Almost everyone will experience a time in their life where they think it would be better if they didn’t exist, and for many people this passes very quickly. For others, however, these thoughts and feelings can become extremely intense, last for longer periods, and cause a lot of upset.

In life we can experience situations that are extremely difficult, and where it can be difficult to see a way forward. When our brains struggle to make a decision, or see how to move past an event sometimes, and when we are in distress, suicide can seem like the answer, an escape from how we feel or from the situation itself.

Suicidal thoughts are common, and many people experience them when they are undergoing stress or experiencing depression. In most cases these are temporary and can be treated, but in some cases they place the individual at risk of attempting or even completing suicide.

What’s important for you to know is that there are lots of ways you can deal with these feelings and overcome them. Every day many organisations, groups and medical professionals help people see that it’s possible to come out the other side and feel okay again.

If you are unsure of why you feel suicidal, you may find it even harder to believe that there could be a solution. Whatever the reason, there is lots of support available to help you cope and overcome these feelings.

What to do about feeling suicidal

Suicide is never the answer. If life’s problems are starting to feel too painful and difficult for you to manage, and you’re having suicidal thoughts and feelings, there are things you can do to help get through this distressing time.

Talking about how you feel can be incredibly helpful and can help you to see your problems in a different way, and to understand that suicide is not the only option. Please don’t suffer in silence.

Following are some ways for you to start the conversation.

Let family or friends know what’s going. They may be able to offer support and help keep you safe. There’s no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings; starting the conversation is what’s important. Try and think about it as just another conversation. Describe what’s happened, how you feel, and the help you need. It’s best to be direct so that people understand how you feel.

If you find it difficult to talk to someone you know and trust, you can always call a GP and ask for an emergency appointment, call 999 or 112 and they will help you find the support and help you need, or contact a mental health crisis team.

Ways to help to yourself

Even though your pain may seem overwhelming and permanent at the moment, there are ways to deal with suicidal thoughts and feelings and overcome the pain. When life doesn’t seem worth living anymore, it may seem that the only way to find relief is through suicide. When you’re feeling this way, it may be hard to believe but you do have other options.

Take a step back and separate your emotions from your actions for the moment. Promise not to do anything right now and tell yourself “I will wait now and not do anything drastic”. Even though you’re in a lot of pain right now, give yourself some distance between thoughts and action.

Make a promise to yourself that “I will wait 24 hours and won’t do anything drastic during that time.” Or, wait a week.

Somethings when things feel on top of you, giving yourself that period of time can be enough to get yourself the help and support you need.

Avoid drugs and alcohol. Suicidal thoughts can become even stronger if you have taken drugs or alcohol. It is important to never use either when you feel hopeless or you are thinking about suicide.

Make your home or the area you are in safe. Remove things you could use to hurt yourself. If you are unable to do so, go to a place where you can feel safe. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, give your medicines to someone who can return them to you one day at a time as you need them.

Don’t keep these suicidal feelings to yourself. 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. You should never try to manage suicidal feelings on your own. Professional help and support from loved ones can make it easier to overcome any challenges that are causing suicidal thoughts.

Don’t let fear, shame, or embarrassment prevent you from seeking help, and if the first person you reach out to doesn’t seem to understand, try someone else.

Stay hopeful. No matter how bad your situation may seem, know that there are ways of dealing with the issues you face. When you are feeling low, it’s very easy to forget all the positive things that you still have in your life. Ask yourself are there people in your life who would be hurt by your death? Is there a beloved pet that needs your care? Maybe you have goals that you haven’t accomplished.

Whatever your reasons, take some time to think about these things and acknowledge that your life means more than you think.

How to support a friend who is feeling suicidal

It is so important to listen without judgement, stay calm and not overreact. If you are worried that someone may be thinking about suicide, talk to them and ask them about how they are feeling.

Be aware it’s not your job to take away their 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 someone they trust that they could talk to and who can help them find support.

Finally, 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 own feelings with someone you trust.