Suicide Helplines – For Crisis Support
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, do not act on them. The thoughts you are having are just thoughts. They can shift and you can keep yourself safe from the thoughts. For those of you experiencing suicidal thoughts, the first thing to do is talk to someone you trust. Either let someone in your social network know that you’re struggling, or call a helpline who can support you and talk you through your experience of suicidal thoughts. This is not something you need to suffer alone. There are many helplines throughout the world, so I’ve pulled as many as I could find together to create this list of International Suicide Helplines for you to contact if you are feeling unable to keep yourself safe.
International Suicide Helplines
Develop a Safety Plan
A safety plan is a list of things you do and follow when you are feeling like you are struggling to keep yourself safe.
Do not act on any thoughts to end your life. Many people have felt like there was no hope but with support and help those feelings shifted so they no longer felt like they had to end their life. You too can work through those sad, uncomfortable feelings.
Take it one hour at a time. Maybe even one minute at a time to help get you though.
- Tell someone you trust in your network that you are struggling. Get help early before your feelings escalate.
- Find something that you can do that can be a distraction. This might be listening to music, listening to a meditation, doing some slow breathing,
- Write down how you feel,
- Call a suicide helpline in your country. See list above.
- Delay acting on thoughts to end your life. Use this time to talk to someone.
- Avoid being alone, especially at night.
- Challenge your thoughts – they’re not right. They aren’t even real. They are something our brains have come up with and can shift. You might even believe no one cares or would notice you gone, but this is never true. It would have a negative effect on so many people. What if this was your friend saying this to you. What would you say to them?
- Practice creating some distance between the thoughts to end your life and your observer mind. Place the thoughts onto a bubble in front of you and release it up and place it onto clouds in the sky.
- Create a list of all the positive things in your life
- What are coping strategies you already have?
Feelings are Normal
Recognise feelings are a part of being human. Us humans have a big range of feelings and some of them are good, but some of them are not so good. How you feel can shift and will if you focus on something else and shift the thoughts from ending your life to something different like what you can live for.
Think about something you can feel grateful for.
Think about things or people to live for.
Breathe slowly in, hold for 2 seconds then release. Breathing helps your body to relax even though it feels like it’s impossible. Keep breathing slowly till you notice a shift. Being present helps you not focus on the past or the future, instead brings you back to this moment. Here’s more information on how to be present.
Ground yourself. You can do this by looking around you and say 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell or taste, one thing you are grateful for. Here’s more information on this topic in a previous post.
We all have coping strategies. However if we have not actually thought of behaviours as a coping strategy then it’s possible to not realise we do have ways of coping already.
Coping strategies can involve many activities as well as ways of using our psychological muscles. What I mean by this is finding something that you can focus on that can help you shift what you’re thinking of. For instance if I said to you purple turtle. What do you think of? Maybe a purple turtle? The same goes for shifting what we are thinking about. Suicidal thoughts can also increase how we feel as they continue and go round and round in our minds and can get stuck in a loop. No matter what pain you are feeling, finding something else to focus on will help get you through those tough thoughts to give you some space and help you work through how you’re feeling.
Some coping strategies can be
- Going for a walk
- Think about your favorite holiday location.
- Imagine a favorite quiet location such as a rainforest, beach, creek, or grassy field. Which ever you are drawn to can help you think and imagine something that you enjoy which can help shift where your current thoughts are.
- Write down how you feel.
- Do some yoga.
- Do some drawing or coloring in. This makes you use a different part of your brain as you use movement and creativity.
- Do some self soothing strategies such as listening to your favorite music, or using essential oils. Here’s more information on self soothing strategies.
- Look at some cute baby animal pictures – this helps release serotonin in your brain to help you shift how you feel to a more positive space.
Whatever you choose to do as a way of coping, you need to focus your attention on it so you can engage with it and help you think about things from a different perspective, even just to give yourself a break from the suicidal thoughts you’ve been having.
For ongoing support you can consider a range of services to help you work through what’s been going on for you. Here’s a list in this post that I’ve put together.
My number one recommendation for working through challenging your thoughts and issues such as depression is online-therapy.com. It’s an online service that involves worksheets, contact via live messaging and texting. You’ll find more information about it in my review here.
If you have been experiencing suicidal thoughts, do not act on those thoughts, Take time to talk to someone and get support.
You are not alone. You can work through this difficult time. With support you can shift how you feel and have hope.