Do You Feel Suicidal Right Now?
These four interventions could save your life or the life of someone you love when they or you feel suicidal.
I know life can be hard and problems can pile so high that we cannot see a way out. I want to give you some practical ideas to try when you are at the depth of despair and feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. When you feel suicidal please try these four steps.
When you have lost hope and believe suicide is the only way out, please try these four ideas:
1. Reach Out for Help
I understand that finding the strength to do this can be really hard, especially if you also feel alone, but people are available to help.
- Call or chat with the Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1-800-273-8255 or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Call your Contract For Life Partner
What is a Contract for Life Partner?
Every person who is even remotely thinking of suicide, should have a Contract For Life partner. A Contract For Life partner is someone you trust and who understands you. This is someone you make a commitment to that says,
I promise that if I have serious thoughts of killing myself, I will talk with you or with someone else I trust before I do anything destructive.
John is a survivor and here is his advice, “Don’t keep quiet if you are going to hurt yourself or others…please speak up. If you are feeling suicidal then talk to someone, don’t keep quiet about it. There is someone out there who will listen to you.” You can read his full story here.
Keely said she has an older friend she calls when she feels suicidal thoughts coming on: I told her everything. And I told her that I need her help. Sometimes I just call to hear her voice to know I’m not alone. Other times, I ask if we can get together. She doesn’t grill me, she’s just there for me.
A Contract For Life partner is priceless because you can meet with them face to face or talk on the phone anytime. If you do not have one, please make it a priority to go looking for one today.
2. Refer to your Safety Plan
Take time right now to print out the Prevention Checklist and fill in the blanks of the Suicide Safety Plan. Then when you are feeling hopeless pull out your plan and follow what you have written down.
3. Remove whatever can harm you at that very moment.
If there are guns, knives, and pills in your house, then RUN from your house. Get away from anything you can use to hurt yourself. This will buy you time to settle down and begin to think rationally. Some people are most suicidal when they are drunk. Have someone you know and trust clear all those things out of your house.
Wendalin said she was suicidal for over three years, but was helped by knowing she wasn’t alone: I had a friend who was there for me no matter what. I tried to push this friend away so many times, she took away the knifes and scissors I’d cut with, my Dad’s diving knife, my grandpa’s gun, and the hose and rope so I couldn’t hang myself. Even though I was so mad at her for it, I knew she cared and that she really did love me.
Glory wrote: I tried a couple times but it never really worked. Then one night I realized something. If you can’t change it, get over it. There are much better things to do in life then sit around hating life. God gave us life so we should use it. Killing yourself is only running away from your problems. It won’t help one bit.
4. Turn to other Activities
The key here is to get your mind off of doing the unthinkable. If you are near suicide, you want to change the subject, or divert your mind from what you were planning to do. Walk, jog, bike, swim, take a nap, take a hot shower, watch a movie, listen to music, read a book, do household chores, clean, go shopping, go to the park, volunteer at an animal shelter for a few hours – An excuse to play with puppies? Yes please! Anything that has the potential to help you lift your spirit.
If you are near suicide, you want to change the subject, or divert your mind from what you were planning to do.
Kelsey discovered this worked for her: I actually went and got a knife to kill myself and I just stopped and I was thinking this really isn’t solving my problems is it? So I just decided to try to get into something like hip-hop classes, get my mind off my life, and just try to live life to the fullest.
There are many more articles on TheHopeLine regarding suicide and we want you to know you are not alone. You matter, you are good enough and you are loved.
If you or a friend need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, for free confidential, 24/7 help. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. For additional help, please visit the suicide prevention resource page.