Helping you get through tough times

Wanting to take your own life

If you are feeling suicidal, or want to end your life, it’s important to keep yourself safe. Try to remember thoughts about taking your life are just thoughts.

They do not mean you have to act on them, no matter how overwhelming they are, or how often you have them. They also don’t mean you will always have those thoughts.

Postpone any decision to end your life

Yellow flowersEveryone goes through tough times and experiences times when things seem hopeless.

It is possible to get through these times by creating your own “tool kit” of coping strategies. You can use this when you’re feeling suicidal or when things feel hopeless.

While it may feel like you have to act now, try to postpone that decision.

List distractions

Keep a list of other things you can do to distract yourself. This might include watching a DVD or going to the movies, playing a game, ringing a friend, chatting on Whatsapp, doing some exercise, reading a book or listening to music. You can then put this into action when the feeling starts to surface.

Many people report by postponing a decision to die, they found their life did change. They were able to get the support they needed and could move on to a better, happier place within themselves.

Tell someone

Although it may seem like a bigger challenge than taking steps to end your life, it’s important to reach out to others who can help you to see alternative ways of solving or thinking about a problem.

They can help to you to realise what’s important to you, allowing you to have a more positive outlook.

You could tell a family member or friend, counsellor or any person that you feel comfortable with. If they don’t believe you or don’t want to listen, keep trying until someone else does. Sometimes people don’t react well at first because they don’t know how. This is not your fault. Although it may feel hard, don’t give up!

If you’re having difficulty speaking about what you’re going through, you might start with sentences such as ‘Right now, I’m feeling…’, ‘I think it started when…’, ‘I’ve been feeling this for…’, ‘My sleep has been…’, ‘Lately school/work/college has been…’.

Call a crisis line

If you feel are having difficulty talking to people you know, phone Samaritans 116 123 (available 24 hours a day and free to call from Ireland) or email

Write down your feelings

Writing down your feelings, or keeping a journal, can be a great way of understanding your feelings and a particular situation. It can also help you think about alternative solutions to problems.

Set small goals

Sometimes people set goals which are almost unachievable, and then feel worse when they cannot reach them. Try to set goals that are achievable for you, even if it’s on a day by day, or hour by hour, basis. And remember to reward yourself too.

Avoid drugs and alcohol

Try not to use drugs or alcohol in the hopes of feeling better. The feeling is usually temporary and the after effects often make the problem worse.

Talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are health workers who have special training in mental health problems, including depression. They can help people with thoughts of suicide. Clinical psychologists have a similar training, but do not prescribe medication.

Your GP or local community health centre can advise you of where to find them. Some GPs and other allied health staff also do counselling. You can get details by visiting the ICGP website Find a GP. Check for details of services in your area.

Talk to someone

The most important thing to do if you are having thoughts of suicide is to talk to someone, reach out to someone who can help.

This article was last reviewed on 10 May 2017

What can I do now?

  • Keep yourself safe
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Call Samaritans 116 123 (available 24 hours a day and free to call from Ireland)
  • Visit PietaHouse for face-to-face crisis counselling

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