If you are currently feeling suicidal, click here for information on where to get urgent support.
Try to decide not to do anything to hurt yourself right now. Sometimes it can help to take one day at a time. If that feels too overwhelming, try taking one hour at a time, or five minutes at a time. Many, many people who have had suicidal thoughts in the past write and talk about how they’re so very relieved that they waited, and are happy to still be alive today.
Avoid being alone
It can be tempting to isolate ourselves when we feel this low. However, this could put you at greater danger and could feel even more overwhelming. Try to connect with other people who can help you stay safe. Try to let people know that you’re struggling and ask for help. If you don’t have anyone in your life you can talk to right now, remember there are lots of free helplines out there to support you.
Avoid things that make you feel worse
Try to avoid sad movies/songs/triggering photos or looking at all the fun everyone else seems to be having on social media. This may seem obvious, but, as humans, when we feel low we can end up doing things that make us feel worse.
For help in a mental health crisis, read this.
Although it may be tempting, avoid alcohol and drugs, as they can increase depression and make it more difficult to stay safe. This is a very vulnerable time for you so it’s important you do what you can to stay safe.
Take care of yourself
When our emotions are all over the place it can be difficult to look after ourselves. Try to remember that not sleeping, eating or exercising will actually make you feel worse. I know it probably feels difficult to do right now, but trying to get back into a routine of looking after yourself will help keep your suicidal thoughts at bay.
Make a safety plan
It might help you to make a safety plan where you write down steps to follow if you feel in crisis, e.g. who you will call, what makes you feel calm, and where you feel safe. Papyrus have a great free template here: https://www.papyrus-uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Suicide-Safety-Plan-Template-1.pdf
Feelings are not permanent
It can feel terrifying and very stressful having suicidal thoughts running through your mind. To help ease this pressure remember that even if your situation is not changing any time soon, your thoughts and feelings about it can and will change. At first, it will very likely seem impossible that these dark thoughts will move away, but trust me, no feeling lasts forever.
Do what you love
Think about all the things you love, or used to love doing. Do you love sports, playing video games, cooking, dancing, photography, reading, going to gigs, watching movies? Are there new hobbies you’d like to try? Finding or re-connecting with the things you love will help you find meaning and purpose, which makes life worth living.
Chloe Foster has a background in working in mental health and youth work. Today she runs Sussex Rainbow Counselling where she specialises in counselling LGBTQ clients online.
Chloe holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapeutic humanistic counselling from The University of Brighton. She is also an approved accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society, and an accredited gender, sexuality and relationship diversities therapist with Pink Therapy.