If you’re struggling to cope with your mental health or difficult life circumstances, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to someone about your problems or worries. This is the first step to getting help and dealing with them and feeling less overwhelmed.

Specialist support organisations can give you advice about your mental and emotional wellbeing. They offer services such as:

  • listening to you without judgement
  • signposting you to support services
  • providing therapy if you are diagnosed mental health condition

Thoughts of suicide

Many people have thoughts of suicide at some point in their life, around 1 in 5 of us.  Thinking about suicide does not mean that someone will definitely end their life.  Most people who have suicidal thoughts don’t kill themselves because they paused, looked for support and didn’t act on that impulsive or overwhelming emotion.

Choose someone you trust to talk with about your feelings. Someone who has time and will listen. This may be a good friend, family member, work mate or college lecturer. Sharing helps you press the pause button.  There may be people who can offer practical support and there may be others who can give you emotional support, reassurance and help you think things through.

Helplines to call if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts

Samaritans offer confidential listening either on their 24 hour telephone helpline or face to face without an appointment. Drop in support is available 9am to 9pm.

CALM helpline is a free and confidential helpline and web chat service for men who need to talk about their mental health, who are down or have hit a wall for any reason. They also offer information and support. Open 5pm to 12am every day of the year

Papyrus HOPELINEUK if you’re under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call them weekdays 10am to 10pm. Weekends 2pm to 10pm and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm

SANEline is a national confidential out of hours telephone helpline that offers information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health problems. Interpreters are available to translate into over 100 languages.

Shout is a 24 hour, 7 days a week text service. It is free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

If U Care Share if you are worried about something you can talk to trained volunteers using their free, confidential 24 hour, 7 days a week text service. Text IUCS to 85258

How to help if you think someone feels suicidal

Many people who are feeling suicidal don’t talk directly about it. They’re more likely to say they feel hopeless,  like a burden on others or make constant negative remarks.  They may even say goodbye in way that makes you uneasy.

It may be nerve-wracking to talk to someone about their thoughts and feelings. By listening and asking questions you may be able to help or direct them to a source of help at a critical time.

Experts recommend that you ask directly whether the person is feeling suicidal. This avoids confusion and clears the air for practical steps to be taken.  Research shows that by asking the direct question, you do not put the thought of suicide in someone’s head.

Signs of suicidal thoughts

Look at the behaviour of the person: Do they have mood swings? Do they seem depressed or anxious? Have they started clearing out possessions, making a will, self harming, losing interest in things they had enjoyed? Do they seem isolated and caught up in their own thoughts?

Have they had any changes in their life? This could include, bereavement, a relationship breakdown, health problems, money worries, addiction, chronic pain or mental health difficulties.  Have they been victims of abuse, coercion or neglect?

How to start a conversation with someone who may be having suicidal thoughts

  • make time and space to listen
  • listen but don’t judge or belittle
  • ask questions. Be direct if you suspect suicidal thoughts
  • keep them safe
  • encourage them to call a Helpline
  • don’t feel you should know the answers or solutions

Crisis situation

In a Mental Health crisis such as, an overdose, self harm or if you cannot keep the person safe, call 999. Explain the situation and stay with them until an ambulance arrives.

If the person goes missing, call 999 and ask for the Police.

Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team Newcastle and Gateshead (CNTW) are available for urgent help, 24 hours a day. Call 0800 652 2863

If the crisis passes, encourage the person to contact their GP urgently, NHS 111 or one of the Helplines listed above.

Mental health support

Local Mental Health support services and groups are available if you need ongoing support.

Dealing with grief after suspected suicide

Death by suspected suicide can be very distressing and shocking. It can affect up a wide group people who knew the person.

If U Care Share provide practical and emotional support to people impacted by suspected suicide. Help and support is available now if you need it. You do not have to struggle with difficult feelings alone.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exist to break the isolation experienced by people who are bereaved by suicide. They offer a range of support services such as: support groups, a booklet, poetry and prose.

InformationNOW has articles on: Bereavement and GriefSupport Groups

Self harm

If you are hurting yourself or self harming, help is available. If you’re worried about someone who’s self harming, you can also get help and support.

Read more on InformationNOW about self harm.

Worries that may be affecting you

Take care of other worries that you have: they drain you of your energy and wellbeing. Read more on InformationNOW to find local support to help with:

Last updated: October 20, 2023