No one feels good all the time, but if you feel like you have no options or no way out, or feel you can’t live life like this anymore, or feel that dying may be your only option, you need to know help is available.
Talk to a health care provider, family member or friend you trust. No matter how hopeless you feel, reach out. This section will discuss the importance of talking about suicide, warning signs, and where to get help.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or feel you can’t live life like this anymore, reach out for help right away. Do not keep suicidal thoughts to yourself. Talk to someone you trust, a family member, friend, or professional. Remember there is help out there. Even if you do not see any answers now, it does not mean that they do not exist.
If you are concerned that someone you know is thinking about suicide, talk to them directly about suicide. Bringing up the subject will not cause them to act upon it. Being able to talk about it candidly; however, may provide a sense of relief that they can be honest and open about it. It is also important to ask the person if they have a plan to die by suicide. If they do have a plan, you need to connect the person with emergency services (Police, Hospital, Clinic, crisis line, etc) immediately. If you don’t know who to call, you can always call 911 to seek assistance. Stay with the person while you make the call, and stay with them until help arrives. The two most important things you can do are listen and help them connect with mental health services. Talking about suicide may seem difficult, yet talking about it openly is very helpful. A person contemplating suicide needs the support of people who care and listen, without judgment.
People who are feeling suicidal may be exhibiting some of the following warning signs:
- show a sudden change in mood or behaviour;
- show a sense of hopelessness and helplessness;
- express the wish to die or end their life;
- increase substance use;
- withdraw from people and activities they previously enjoyed;
- experience changes in sleeping patterns;
- experience anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, angry and/or unable to cope;
- feel trapped or no way out of a situation;
- have a decreased appetite; and,
- give away prized possessions or make preparations for their death (for example, creating a will).
If you are concerned that someone you know is thinking about suicide, talk to them directly about suicide and connect them to mental health services right away.
Here are some strategies that can help reduce the risk of suicide. Consider the following:
- Reach out to a health care provider to seek support and treatment for mental health concerns;
- Build a supportive network, which can include your health care team, family, friends, a peer support or support group, or connections with a cultural or faith communities;
- Learn coping skills to deal with life challenges and use them as often as needed;
- Have a friend or family member stay with you. It is best not to be alone at this difficult time;
- Have a friend or family member remove or secure any items that you are likely to use to hurt yourself. This could include weapons, sharp objects, and poisonous substances;
- Have a friend or family member remove or secure any medications that could be used in a harmful way (even if they are prescribed to you). If you require a dose of medication, have someone else give it to you and let them know how often you require it;
- Remove things that you know make your feelings stronger or longer-lasting
- Keep the contact information of the nearest emergency department, crisis line and your health care providers close at hand;
- Identify and avoid high-risk triggers or situations. For example, if alcohol increases feelings of depression, avoid alcohol or seeing friends who drink;
- Practice self-care by eating well, exercising, get a good night’s sleep, etc.