Talking about Suicide in Mind
Information on who you can talk to if you are having suicidal thoughts.
People having suicidal thoughts is a lot more common you think. There are lots more people who think about it or who try to take their own lives.
People may think about suicide for a number of reasons. They might be depressed as a result of bullying, splitting up with their partner, or the death of someone close to them.
The Scottish Association for Mental Health have launched a campaign called Two Too Many to try and raise awareness about suicide.
Remember: suicide is very permanent solution to a temporary problem - no matter how big that problem is
If you are feeling suicidal then it's important to talk to someone about how you are feeling. This might be a scary step to take but a problem shared is often a problem halved, and it means you don't have to deal with things on your own.
There are a number of people you can talk to who will try to offer you some help:
- Talk to a member of your family, a friend or someone you know who you think you can trust, i.e. a teacher.
- Your GP, or a mental health professional.
- If you are religious you could talk to a minister, priest or other type of religious leader
- An organisation like Samaritans, who are always available to listen to you
What if I've already taken something or hurt myself badly?
Call 999 and ask for an ambulance. Tell the operator about anything you've taken or how you've injured yourself.
If someone says they're having suicidal thoughts it's important to take them seriously. It's not the kind of thing that people usually joke about.
Try to be around for them. Gently encourage them to talk about it and let them know they can talk to you if they need to.
If you're worried they're actually going to try and take their own life, tell a trusted adult, like a teacher.
If you think they're in immediate danger, call 999.
There are a number of untrue myths which surround suicide and the reasons for why people try to take their own lives.
Myth 1: Only people with a mental illness think about suicide.
Truth: Whilst some people who do try to kill themselves have a mental illness, this is not the only reason people think about suicide.
Myth 2: People only threaten to kill themselves because they want attention.
Truth: This is not the case and when anyone talks about suicide it should be taken seriously. They may want attention in the sense that they are calling out for help.
Myth 3: If someone wants to kill themselves there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.
Truth: For most people suicidal feelings are only a temporary feeling. However, this is the time they need help more than ever.
Myth 4: Mentioning suicide to a depressed person is a bad idea as it is giving them an idea.
Truth: Suicide is a taboo subject in society and people generally don’t feel comfortable talking about it. However, by mentioning it you have given them permission to open up to you, and often it can be a huge relief to them to reveal their true feelings.
Myth 5: People who are suicidal want to die.
Truth: People who are feeling suicidal don’t necessarily want to die, they just don’t want to have the life they currently have. By talking and getting help they can realise things can get better.
If you don't know who to turn to then you could call one of these helplines.
Breathing Space is there to speak to you if you are feeling sad or down, or need to talk about issues and problems in your life. You can call them free on 0800 83 85 87 (Monday to Thursday 6pm - 2am, Friday 6pm through to Monday 6am).
Samaritans provide emotional support, and are available 24 hours a day. You can call them on 116 123.
PAPYRUS is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal. You can call them on 0800 068 4141.
ChildLine is a free helpline for children and young people in the UK. You can call them on 0800 1111.
If someone close to you takes their own life you may worry about whether you could have prevented it. Often people worry what others might think of them and how to tell other people in case they try and blame you.
It's important to talk to experts in the field, survivors and families who have been through it. Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide may be a good place to start. They have a confidential helpline on 0844 561 6855 (9am to 9pm daily).
Find more help and support from AyeMind's helpful resources and contacts.