9th August 2018
Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your life.
If you are reading this because you are feeling suicidal, it is important that you seek help immediately.
Many people who have felt suicidal at some point say they were so overwhelmed by negative feelings that they saw no option other than suicide. However, with the right treatment and support, the same people were able to carry on with their life and the negative feelings passed.
If you are feeling suicidal, you can:
• call the Samaritans support service on 116123 or text 087 260 990 (standard text rates apply) Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone struggling to cope. For confidential, non-judgemental support;
• go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and tell the staff how you are feeling
• speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust
• make an urgent appointment to see your GP
If you are worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, recommend that they contact one or more of the organisations above and encourage them, in a non-judgemental way, to talk about how they are feeling.
A person may be at high risk of attempting suicide if they:
• threaten to hurt or kill themselves
• actively look for ways to kill themselves, such as stockpiling tablets or buying equipment that could be used to suffocate themselves
• talk or write about death, dying or suicide
If the person has been diagnosed with a mental health condition, contact a member of their care team or the centre or clinic where they were being treated.
If you do not have any relevant contact details, contact your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and ask for their advice.
While waiting for the person to receive treatment, remove any possible means of suicide from their immediate environment, such as medication, knives or other sharp objects, and household chemicals, such as bleach.
If you think there is a high risk of a person dying by suicide before you can get the appropriate professional help, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
A person may also be at risk of attempting suicide if they:
• complain of feelings of hopelessness, saying things such as, "What's the point of even trying? I know things are never going to get better"
• have episodes of sudden rage and anger
• act recklessly and engage in risky activities with an apparent lack of concern about the consequences
• talk about feeling trapped, such as saying they cannot see any way out of their current situation
• start to abuse drugs or alcohol, or use more than they usually do
• become increasingly withdrawn from friends, family and society in general
• appear anxious and agitated
• are unable to sleep or sleep all the time
• have sudden mood swings - a sudden lift in mood after a period of depression could indicate they have made the decision to attempt suicide
• talk and act in a way that suggests their life has no sense of purpose
• lose interest in their appearance, such as dressing badly, no longer wearing make-up or not washing regularly
• put their affairs in order
If you notice any of these warning signs in a friend, relative or loved one, encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.
Also share your concerns with a member of their care team, if they are being treated for a mental health condition, or your GP.