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About suicide

When people feel hopeless and can’t see any way to make things better, they sometimes feel like they wish their life would end - but things can get better if you get support.

If you are feeling suicidal and you need to speak to somebody straight away, please dial 999 or call ChildLine free on 0800 1111

Suicidal thoughtsWhy am I feeling or
thinking this way?

Feeling like there’s no hope can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. When these feelings become too much, thoughts of suicide can come into your head. But it doesn’t have to be like this – there are other ways you can cope even if you don’t feel like there is now.

There is often no simple explanation for these thoughts. Some people feel that suicide will make the pain stop and the bad feelings go away. Some people think that others around them will know how much they are hurting if they take their own life. Sometimes people think that they are so worthless that they don’t deserve to live or there is no point in living.

I feel suicidal. Can you help me get better?

ChildLine can help you talk about how you feel. We will always listen to you and we care about you. We can help you to look at what you would like to change in your life so that things can get better. We can support you until things begin to change.

We can also help you plan how to get other support if you want it, including emergency help if your life is in danger. You can speak to a counsellor by calling free on 0800 1111 or through 1-2-1 chat online (works like instant messenger).

You are not alone - we care about you and we are all here for you.

  • How can I cope with these suicidal feelings?

    Even if you can’t imagine a way out now, the way you are thinking and feeling about things will change. ChildLine is here for you every step of the way. Take a look at our page on coping with suicidal feelings for more information and support.

  • What can cause suicidal thoughts?

    It can be hard to understand what causes suicidal thoughts. Sometimes there is no clear explanation. Sometimes they can be triggered by something stressful or upsetting like: 

    - abuse
    - being forced to marry someone when you don't want to
    - bullying
    - experiencing anorexia or another type of eating disorder
    - bereavement and the loss of somebody close to you
    - living with anxiety
    - living with a mental illness
    - being in a relationship where you don’t feel loved or understood
    - family relationship problems or family breakdown
    - experiencing a violent incident or trauma

    These things can be so difficult to make sense of that they cause us pain. When that pain becomes unbearable it can trigger suicidal thoughts. Sometimes people have been feeling these things for so long that they don’t know where the feelings came from. Even if you don’t know what led to you feeling suicidal, there is always a trigger and it is not your fault that you are feeling this way. When you feel suicidal, you lose hope that there is any other option. But there is always hope, even if you can’t see it at the time. Things can get better if you get support – we are all here to listen and help you.

  • Is self-harm the same as being suicidal?

    Self-harm is when people hurt themselves as a way of dealing with difficult or painful feelings. People can self-harm by cutting, burning, bruising or poisoning, without trying to end their life. If someone self-harms, it doesn't always mean they are suicidal.  

    Even if someone is not suicidal, some types of self-harm can be very dangerous and could still put someone’s life at risk. For example, even taking a small overdose can kill you. If you or a friend have self-harmed and you think it might be dangerous, it’s important to get help straight away by calling 999.
    Get information and advice about self-harm and coping with difficult emotions

  • What are the signs to look out for if somebody is feeling suicidal?

    Somebody who is feeling suicidal might:

    - be feeling depressed or withdrawn (for example, they might stop wanting to see their friends or do the things they normally like doing)
    - start doing risky things, like taking drugs or drinking alcohol
    - give away things they own
    - stop looking after themselves - for example, they may not care about their appearance or personal hygiene as much as they used to
    - lose interest in hobbies or things they used to like
    - start saying things like “it’ll be over soon”,“ better off dead”, “I don’t want to be here anymore” or “I won’t be missed”

    If you are worried about a friend or somebody you know and think they might be suicidal, it’s important that you talk to somebody. Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111 or chat to a counsellor online. We are here for both you and your friend. If there’s an adult you can trust in your life, it may be helpful to talk to them about your friend too.

    If you think your friend has a plan or has done something to seriously hurt themselves, get help straight away by telling a trusted adult or calling 999 for emergency assistance.

  • How do I support a friend with suicidal thoughts?

    It’s really great that you want to support your friend if they feel suicidal. Caring for them and being there to support them is the best way to help your friend to feel better. It’s important to remember though that you are not responsible for stopping them from hurting themselves. If things get frightening when you are with them, it’s important to get support and not just deal with it on your own.

    If your friend has a plan or has done something to seriously hurt themselves, get help straight away by calling 999 for emergency assistance. 

    If you don't think your friend is going to hurt themselves straight away, then the best thing you can do is spend time listening to their story. Suicidal thoughts come from sad and upsetting feelings. It’s important to let your friend know that you understand these feelings and why they might be feeling this way, but say you don’t want them to react to this by taking their own life.

    Feeling hopeless is one of the biggest factors in making suicidal feelings worse. Give hope to your friend by suggesting future plans (small or big) that you can do together. Tell them they are important to you and explain why. Be honest and think carefully what you like about them and why you consider them a good friend.

    Feeling helpless can also make suicidal feelings worse. Get your friend to take small steps to build a routine of positive things (e.g. a regular bike ride, a weekly night at the cinema). Encourage them to get professional help for the causes of their suicidal thoughts. If they are worried about getting help, you could show them our page about seeing a doctor.

    You could also tell them about ChildLine. ChildLine is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ChildLine counsellors receive lots of calls from young people in the same situation, and they are trained to help. ChildLine are here for both you and your friend. Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111, or chat to a counsellor online.

  • I have lost a parent or friend to suicide…

    If a parent, sibling or friend has taken their own life, it can be extremely upsetting for everyone around them. Some young people feel confused and do not understand why this has happened. Others feel guilty and wonder if there’s anything that they could have said or done to prevent it. Others feel angry at what happened and some people may even experience some embarrassment. These are all natural reactions but a loved one’s suicide is not the result of anything you did or didn’t do. Read more about when someone dies. You can also visit the SOBS website which helps those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

    You are not alone
    The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and there are lots of people who want to support you. You might want to look at the bereavement message board to read advice from other people who may have lost a loved one to suicide.
    You can also speak to a ChildLine counsellor about the way you feel by calling free on 0800 1111 or through 1-2-1 chat online. We are all here for you. 

  • I have been sent nasty online messages about suicide.

    Sometimes young people have been bullied after tagging posts with ‘suicide’ on social networks like Tumblr and Instagram. It’s important to not respond to negative comments. Responding or commenting on someone else’s post can make bullying even worse.

    However, talking about how you feel can really help and lots of people online can be really supportive. The important thing is to make sure you are talking to people or posting things in a safe online space. Social networks are usually public so anyone can see what you’ve posted. You might not know how people will react on social networks. The ChildLine message boards is a safe place where you can talk about anything on your mind to other young people without anyone knowing your real name.

    If you have experienced bullying to do with suicide, it’s not your fault. Remember that you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor for support.

    Read more about online bullying or how to stay safe online.

Other sites that can help

PAPYRUS aims to prevent suicide in young people and can give you advice.

YoungMinds is all about improving the mental health of young people.

MIND can support anyone struggling with suicidal feelings. You can phone 0300 123 3393 9am to 6pm.

This website has been created by young people with experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
My CAMHS choices

Feeling suicidal?

It's important to get help and support. Talk to a ChildLine counsellor online. They won't judge you, they will just try to help you.

Talk to ChildLine

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About suicide 


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