Handle Suicidal Thoughts Checklist
It’s not uncommon for someone to have suicidal thoughts at some point during their life. For many of us it’s just a passing thing, perhaps after a traumatic event such as a bereavement. For others, those suicidal feelings can persist and it’s important to acknowledge that there is a problem and to seek help. No matter how overwhelming the feelings you have can seem, there is support to help you get back to a better state of mind.
It can be difficult if you are having suicidal thoughts to see beyond the situation you find yourself in. Some simple things you can do for yourself are:
- Make a promise to yourself that you are not going to commit suicide right now. You aren’t going to do something drastic and your suicidal thoughts do not need to become a reality. You need to put a little distance between your thoughts of suicide and any action.
- It goes without saying that you should avoid any drugs or alcohol at this time. However low you feel, drinking or taking drugs will undoubtedly change your mindset and not necessarily for the better.
- Remove temptation – there may be things around your home or flat that you can use to end your life and you should remove these from sight. These can be pills, drink, sharp instruments and firearms.
- If you are having suicidal thoughts, then the first thing you should realise is that there is help out there for you. There’s no need to face this alone.
- The next step is to reach out for that help, either from friends or family or from health care professionals. If you can find someone you trust and tell them how you feel, this is a big and positive step forward.
Suicide can seem like the only option when you are stuck in that dark place and unable to find your way out. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other solutions to your problem, it’s just that you are finding it difficult to focus on them because things seem so overwhelming. For most people, a suicidal crisis is a temporary thing and that’s the main reason why you should give yourself the time to think about the issues and problems you face. You shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about reaching out for help.
If you don’t think you can talk to someone directly, another option is to write down your thoughts and give them to the person you want to approach. Other people prefer to talk to a complete stranger and phoning a suicide helpline can make a big difference. These are usually manned by people who have been through similar experiences as you and know how you feel.
Helping Someone with Suicidal Thoughts
- First of all, you need to take it seriously. It can be difficult when you have known a person for a long time to think that they are contemplating taking their own life. This may be a temporary phase but you need to make sure that you help them get through it.
- Needless to say, when someone is suffering from a suicidal crisis you should not leave them alone. Avoid giving the person alcohol or drugs to ‘ease’ their symptoms.
- Listen to what the person has to say closely and help them to find solutions. Don’t be judgemental but be supportive and make sure that they know you are there to help.
- Get support and help either from the medical services, support groups or friends and family. A suicidal crisis may pass but that doesn’t mean it is over.
There are plenty of resources and help and support available for those who are having suicidal thoughts. If you are suffering from a suicidal crisis yourself then picking up the phone and calling a support line can put you in contact with someone who appreciates what you are going through and can help. For those helping a person with suicidal thoughts it can be a way of getting the support you need for getting through this current crisis.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Trevor Project (For the LGBT Community)
PAPYRUS: Prevention of Young Suicide
Suicide Prevention Australia
Lifeline: Suicide Support
Lifeline New Zealand