I feel unsafe, what can I do?

If you are fearful that you are in danger on acting on suicidal thoughts, keep yourself safe and seek help;

  • Contact your GP
  • Phone 999 or go to your nearest A&E- you can call an ambulance if you are unable to get there. You can ask someone to support you or you can go alone. There are specialist services based within A&E, who you can speak with in confidence. There are lots of available options for treatment that you can discuss and consider together with the health care professional you see. We want to help.
  • Tell someone how you are feeling- people will want to help. You are not a burden. If you want to talk to someone confidentially, you can contact the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or e-mail jo@samaritans.org
  • Make a Safety Plan
  • Do things that are safe and help you feel comforted, calmer and more in control. This is called self-soothing. See here for help; When you feel safer and have more time, consider self-help techniques
  • Reduce the opportunity for you to act on thoughts of suicide impulsively. If you have had thoughts of taking tablets, safely dispose of what you don’t need and/or ask someone to take care of them for you. By whichever means you are thinking of ending your life, reduce the opportunity by getting rid of any apparatus/method you have considered. This will help you to stay safe in the immediacy.

Are you thinking about ending your life?

You are not alone. Bereavement 2

Statistically about one in five people will experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, for many reasons, people can be afraid to speak out and seek help, feeling frightened of what others may think of them or worrying about any negative consequences there may be.

Suicidal thoughts do not mean that you are ‘weak’. Suicidal thoughts are typically signs and symptoms of somebody experiencing difficulty for far too long and these internal struggles have manifested themselves as thoughts to end their lives. Experiencing these thoughts and carrying the emotional weight of these, particularly on your own takes strength, but you need not carry the burden alone.

"…my CPN (community psychiatric nurse)  once asked me to hold a pencil in my hand, out stretched for 30 seconds. I thought this was a bit strange, but I did it and she asked me how I felt. I replied, ‘fine, why?’

She asked me to pick up the pencil again and do the same for a minute and asked me again how I felt. I said, I was fine but my arm ached a bit. She then asked me to do the same, for as long as I could. After a couple of minutes, I put the pencil down and said my arm had really started to ache.

She then said to me, if you picture the pencil as something small that you are worrying about, holding it for 30 seconds isn’t a problem, it doesn’t hurt. If you hold the same pencil but for much longer, it can really start to hurt and you can struggle if you don’t put the pencil down for a break or ask someone else to help you hold the pencil.

I think I understood what she meant, carrying something that might seem small on my own might be okay at first, but holding onto it on my own will get more difficult. I started thinking about my suicidal thoughts. It felt better to ‘put them down’ by talking about them and what I was going through. I got it."

It can really help to understand other people’s experiences and their roads to recovery. Sometimes feeling that you can identify with someone else, helps to reassure you that you are not alone, what has helped them and the ‘normalness’ of experiencing emotionally difficulty and crisis.

What can you do?

Don’t Make A Permanent Decision Based On A Temporary State Of Feelings.

Suicidal thoughts do not discriminate against your age, gender, sexuality or spiritual/religious beliefs.  Any person from any walk of life can experience these thoughts, which can be triggered for a number of reasons or ‘stressors’. These can include;

  • Worrying about money, debt
  • The end of a relationship, including grief and bereavement
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Health worries
  • Worrying about work
  • Bullying and discrimination
  • Caring roles with no respite or break periods
  • Physical, financial and emotional abuse

Suicidal thoughts can be vague, a sense of escapism. Some might change into you wondering how you would do this and can increase in the frequency and intensity. Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of Depression. It’s never best to assess your symptoms without the support of a medically trained person, but click here to see if you could be experiencing depression, or complete a quick mood check list here.

The quicker you seek help the sooner you will start your recovery. It’s never too late to seek help, but evidence does show that recovery can be quicker, if you access help sooner. Each person’s recovery is unique. Not everyone suits or needs medication but typically, a combination of anti-depressant medication with a talking therapy has shown the most effective results. You are at the centre of your care and treatment, treatment options available to you will be discussed for you to consider.

If you want to view what medication and treatments are considered, you can view these here.

There are a number of resources available, both by phone and online, some of which are in the useful links section.