FEELING SUICIDAL? DON’T DESPAIR, HELP IS AVAILABLE

Life can be stressful, dealing with events such as your sexuality or gender, bullying and harassment, discrimination, unemployment, accommodation worries, relationship problems, alcohol and drug misuse. There is a possible chance you may well feel depressed or even suicidal. If you’re having suicidal thoughts you’re not alone. Just under 21% of the general population have had suicidal thoughts at some time.

In this post, first published on Unite UK’s website in July 2018 I provide suggestions to help you cope if you’re feeling suicidal.

 

TALK TO SOMEONE

If you’re feeling suicidal it’s really important to tell someone. If there’s a friend or family member you trust, open up to them and tell them how you’re feeling. They may be able to offer you support and understanding and keep you safe.

If you don’t feel you can talk to someone close to you that you trust there are national helplines available (see details below) that are staffed by people ready to listen to you and your concerns and provide support and understanding. Starting the conversation can be difficult. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, so just start the conversation in a way that you’re comfortable.

As a previous volunteer Samaritan, I can tell you that every call, text or email is completely confidential and your contact details aren’t passed onto volunteer listeners. Calls aren’t recorded or traceable. Any personal information you provide is entirely up to you, you won’t be asked for any.

Although the Samaritan may ask if there’s a name they can call you, you don’t have to give your real name, or any name at all if you don’t want to. Silence is OK. If you can’t find the words or don’t know what to say, stay on the line and the Samaritan will stay with you until you’re able to talk.

THESE PEOPLE ARE HERE FOR YOU:

Samaritans – for everyone, 24 hours a day – Call 116 123 – Email jo@samaritans.org

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 – Text 07786 209697 – Email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline – for children and young people under 19, 24 hours a day – Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men – Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day – Visit the webchat page

WHERE ELSE CAN I GET HELP?

Your GP should be your first port of call. If you’ve already been referred to your local mental health service the local mental health crisis team can also help. If you need urgent help because you’ve harmed yourself visit your local A & E department.

The Hub of Hope App is a directory of local and national mental health services that you can download from your app store. Input your postcode and it displays contact details of local and national mental health related services.

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MYSELF?

Rethink Mental Health offer a variety of ideas for you to try to help you get through your crisis in their suicidal thoughts factsheet.

Try:

  • not to think about the future – just focus on getting through today
  • staying away from drugs and alcohol
  • getting yourself to a safe place, like a friend’s house
  • being around other people
  • distracting yourself by doing something you usually enjoy
  • relaxing – try meditating or mindfulness, or having a relaxing bath

They also suggest preparing a crisis plan plan when you are feeling well, that you can follow when you’re feeling in crisis.

There’s also the Stay Alive App (for suicide prevention) which allows you to develop your crisis plan on your phone. This is so it’s easy to carry around and you’re able to access it any time you feel you need to.

I’M WORRIED ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE – WHAT CAN I DO?

If you’re worried about someone and their mental health it’s important to let them know that you’re there for them and care. The Samaritans offer guidance on difficult conversations. You can also call the Samaritans for emotional support and talk about your feelings of concern for the other person.