Tell someone how you're feeling

If you are feeling suicidal, there are people you can talk to who want to help. 

You can:

  • speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust as they may be able to help you feel more calm

  • visit our urgent mental health support page for information about local support options 

  • make an urgent appointment to see your GP

  • if you don't feel able to keep yourself safe right now, call 999 or go to A&E

Tips for coping right now

You might be feeling so upset, angry and in pain that you believe that these feelings will never end. But it's important to remember that they cannot and will not last. Like all feelings, these will pass.

There are steps you can take right now to stop yourself from acting on your suicidal thoughts. Everyone is different, so it's about finding what works best for you.

Below we share some practical tips that other people have found helpful when they've felt suicidal.

Get through the next five minutes. Taking things minute by minute can help make things more bearable. Reward yourself for each five minutes that pass.Remove anything you could use to harm yourself or ask someone else to remove these for you. If you're in an unsafe location, move away.

If you have a safety plan or crisis plan, follow it. If you don't have a safety plan, this is a personalised plan to support you step-by-step at times when you may be thinking about suicide - here is an online safety plan that you can use to create your own plan.

Tell someone how you're feeling. Whether it's a friend, family member or even a pet, telling someone else how you are feeling can help you to feel less alone and more in control.

If you're thinking of harming yourself, find self-harm coping techniques that work for you, such as:

  • holding an ice cube in your hand until it melts and focus on how cold it feels
  • tearing something up into hundreds of pieces
  • take a cold shower or bath.

Focus on your senses. Taking time to think about what you can smell, taste, touch, hear and see can help to ground your thoughts.

Steady your breathing. Take long deep breaths; breathing out for longer than you breathe in can help you to feel calmer.

Look after your needs. Avoid taking drugs or drinking alcohol as this can make you feel worse. If you can, get a glass of water, eat something if you're hungry, sit somewhere comfortable and write down how you're feeling.

Get outside. If you are feeling numb, feeling the rain, sun or wind against your skin can help you to feel more connected to your body.

Reach out. If you can't talk to someone you know, contact a telephone support service or use online peer support such as Side by Side, Mind's online community.

Make a deal with yourself that you won't act today. Plan to get support if you're not getting support already (see our pages on support for suicidal feelings).

Find your reasons to live. You may feel like the world will be better off without you or there's no point in living, but this is never the case. You could:

  • write down what you're looking forward to, whether it's eating your favourite meal, seeing a loved one or catching up on the next episode of a TV show.
  • make plans to do something you enjoy tomorrow or in the near future. Plans don't have to be big or expensive.
  • think about the people you love. No matter how bad you're feeling, it's important to remember that these people would miss you.

Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a good friend. Do whatever you think might help you to get past these thoughts. It could be something small like having a bath, wrapping yourself in a blanket and watching your favourite film. These ideas may seem silly but it can be easy to forget to do something nice for yourself.

Tell yourself you can get through this. At times, we can concentrate on the negatives we tell ourselves and lose hope. Repeating to yourself that you can get past these feelings can help you regain hope and focus on getting through it. 

Take each day at a time. There might be good days and bad days. Try to focus on each day at a time and set yourself small, achievable goals.

Develop coping strategies that work for you. Self-help resources can help you to work through difficult feelings and learn coping skills.

Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Supressing your feelings when they happen can cause them to build up over time and make them even harder to cope with. Think about what caused you to feel suicidal and share this with those supporting you.

Make a happy box. Fill a box with memories and items that can provide comfort and help lift your mood when you feel down. The box can contain anything that is meaningful and helpful to you, for example: a favourite book, positive quotes, photos, letters, poems, notes to yourself, a cuddly toy, a perfume or smell important to you.

Learn your triggers. Keeping a diary can help you to find patterns in your mood over time and help you to think about what might be causing you to feel suicidal. You can track your feelings by using an online mood diary (there are many freely available).

Don't blame yourself. Many people who have tried or thought about taking their life feel guilty afterwards, especially if they have worried loved ones. Try to accept that was just how you were feeling at the time, and focus your energy now on looking after yourself.

Write a letter to yourself. Include happy memories and mention the people who love and care about you. This can be helpful to read when you are experiencing suicidal feelings to remind yourself that things can get better.

Make plans to look forward to. It doesn't have to be something big like a holiday but scheduling time with loved ones, booking tickets to a music or art event or joining a club can help you to feel more positive about the future.

Build your self-esteem. 

Celebrate yourself. Write down your achievements and the things you like about yourself, however small. If someone compliments you, make a note of it.

Do things just for yourself. Whether it's spending half an hour reading a book, doing a hobby or taking up a new one, try to regularly make time to do the things you enjoy.

Seek support. If you're not already receiving support or don't feel the support you have is helpful, take a look at our page on getting support for suicidal feelings.

Let others know how you're feeling. Tell people what you find helpful and let them know when you are finding things difficult. It's okay to ask others to be with you if you need them.Volunteer. Giving your time to help others can be rewarding. It can build confidence and help remind you that you are appreciated and needed by others.

Try peer support. It can be helpful to talk with others who have experienced suicidal feelings. Contact your local Mind to find what peer services are available locally. You can also access peer support online, on websites like Side by Side run by mental health charity Mind.

Get enough sleep. Learn to relax before bed, making sure your bedroom is a calm place clear of distractions.

Avoid drugs and alcohol. Stopping or reducing your use of drugs and/or alcohol will help you feel more in control of your thoughts, and make it easier to rationalise your feelings.

Eat well. Eating regular healthy meals can make a big difference to your overall sense of wellbeing.