If you have been experiencing thoughts of suicide, it’s important to reach out and let someone know who can support you. For many people, opening up about our feelings can be difficult, but talking things through is helpful as sometimes if we hold it all in they can become even worse and more difficult to cope with. Thoughts of suicide can be very upsetting and an isolating experience. By letting someone know, you can feel less alone, and they will be able to offer you support.
If you aren’t sure who to talk to or how to approach the conversation, read on for advice.
Who can I talk to?
While it can feel hard to approach someone to open up about thoughts of suicide, remember that the right people will want to listen, help and be there for you. If you aren’t sure who to speak to, here are a few important things to consider.
Talk to someone you trust
It is important to choose someone who you can trust and who you can be honest with. This can be a friend or family member, a doctor, a teacher, or someone else in your life who you feel safe with. Consider who knows you well and will take the time to listen to you if you need to talk. These conversations can sometimes be difficult, so you want to feel comfortable enough that you can be totally open and honest with the person you speak to.
Talk to a mental health professional
If there isn’t someone close to you that you trust to speak to, remember that mental health professionals such as counsellors and psychologists are experienced in these areas and can provide expert advice and support. Some people prefer this option as it’s a safe space where they can share openly to someone who doesn’t know them in their personal life.
You can also talk to a counsellor on a helpline such as the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, which is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What do I say?
Be clear and honest with them about all of the things that are troubling you, including your suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Begin by talking to someone about what’s stressing or upsetting you, let them know how you’ve been struggling and how you’re feeling.
Listed below are some ideas to get you started, which you can adapt to use in your own words. This can be a difficult conversation to start, take your time so you are comfortable and ready.
- ‘I have been having a difficult time lately, I am wondering if we can talk about it.’
- ‘I am feeling really upset and worried about my thoughts at the moment’
- ‘Things have felt a bit out of control recently and I am feeling really upset, I need to talk about it.’
If you aren’t able to meet face-to-face for the conversation, consider doing it over the phone or writing a letter so you can communicate everything you need to in a way that best suits you.
Talking about suicide with a health professional
When talking about your thoughts about wanting to end your life or hurt yourself to a health professional, it is important to let them know whether you have:
- been thinking more often or in more detail about how you would end your life or hurt yourself.
- access to the means to carry out these ideas, or taken steps to obtain these means.
- thought about when and how you would end your life or hurt yourself.
- tried to hurt yourself or end your life before, and if so, how you did it.
- made a definite decision to end your life or hurt yourself.
Telling a health professional this information is an important part of making sure you get the right support to help you through these stressful times. Talking about suicide can be hard, but it is important to get support for yourself at this difficult time.
For more information, see Accessing professional support and Helping yourself when you are suicidal.
In an emergency
If you are in immediate danger, or concerned for your safety in any way:
- Call 000 and request an ambulance. Stay on the line, speak clearly, and be ready to answer the operator’s questions.
- Visit your local hospital’s emergency department.
Get Help Now
If you are feeling suicidal and need someone to talk to, call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 to speak to a counsellor.
If it is an emergency, please call 000.