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Tips to help you cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings

Suicidal thoughts and feelings can make our everyday life a struggle. You might be feeling so upset, angry and in pain that you believe these feelings will never end. But it’s important to remember that they cannot and will not last. Like all feelings, these ones will pass.

There are steps you can take right now to stop yourself from acting on your suicidal thoughts. Everyone is different, so it’s about finding what works best for you.

These are some practical tips that other people have found helpful when they’ve felt suicidal.

  • Seek professional help. Seeking professional help from someone qualified in mental health, such as a therapist or counsellor, can provide the right guidance and support.
  • Stay connected to a strong support network. Knowing you’re not alone and that you’re being listened to without judgement can help when overcoming these harder times. Staying connected to friends, family or even support groups can make a significant difference in wellbeing.
  • Establish a safety plan. When struggling with poor mental health it is a good idea to have a safety plan in place to help identify specific triggers and create different coping strategies. Having a safety plan can also help to take the right steps if things become a little more difficult.
  • Creating distraction techniques. Having things to distract you when feeling distressed can help occupy your mind onto something else and help to make certain thoughts pass.
  • Challenge the negative thoughts. Challenging negative thought patterns by focusing on contradictions helps to put the thoughts into perspective and majority of the time brings you away from them. Use this as a way of encouraging positive self-talk.
  • Celebrate small wins. Acknowledge and celebrate any positive steps you have taken, no matter how small. Every step forward is important.
  • Remind yourself of your strength. Recognise your resilience and strength in facing your challenges.
  • Avoid judgement. Ensure that you understand your feelings are valid and not to judge yourself on what you are going through. Allow yourself to feel but make sure you also give yourself room to grow from these emotions without negative judgement.

Remember that it is important to talk about these thoughts to enable you to overcome them. Being open and communicating your feelings to someone close to you, or a professional can help you find ways to cope and steer away from negative thoughts.

If you need support, the Mental Health Support Line is available locally. Call 0800 138 0990 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.    Whatever you are going through, you don’t need to go through it alone.