When people feel hopeless and can’t see any way to make things better, they sometimes want their life to end. But things can get better. There are people who can help.
If you feel suicidal and need help straight away, call 999 or call Childline on 0800 1111. 

Why do I feel suicidal?

Feeling suicidal can happen to anyone. And it could be brought on by almost anything. Like bullying, or abuse. But it could be something else. You might not even be sure why you feel like this. But however down or hopeless you’re feeling, Childline is here for you. You're not alone.

Feeling suicidal can affect anyone, no matter how old they are. People may want to end their life because:

  • they feel it'll make their pain stop
  • they feel it'll take negative feelings away
  • they think it'll mean other people in their life will know how much they're hurting
  • they feel suicide will give them control. 

There are always other ways to cope, even if it doesn’t feel like there is right now. You can talk to a Childline counsellor about how you’re feeling or read our tips on how to cope with suicidal feelings.

Things to remember:

  • suicidal thoughts and feelings can be brought on by lots of different things
  • things can get better 
  • tell someone about how you feel
  • Childline counsellors are here to help you anytime, day or night

What you can do

signs that somebody might be suicidal

Somebody who is feeling suicidal might:

  • be feeling depressed or withdrawn (they might stop wanting to see their friends or do things they normally like doing)
  • start doing dangerous things like taking drugs or drinking alcohol
  • give away things they own
  • stop looking after themselves (they might not wash as often or care about their appearance as much as they used to)

Somebody who is feeling suicidal might say things like:

  • “It’ll be over soon”
  • “I’m better off dead”
  • “I don’t want to be here anymore”
  • “I won’t be missed”

helping a friend who feels suicidal

Caring for your friend is the best thing you can do. Just being there for them can help them start to feel better. Listen to their story. Your friend might tell you why they feel sad or hopeless. Say you understand why they might feel like this – but tell them you don’t want them to react by ending their own life.

People who feel suicidal often feel hopeless. But you can give hope back to your friend. Suggest future plans or things you can do together. It could be anything, like a bike ride together or a trip to the cinema each week. It could even be something small like playing a computer game together. Just remember that it’s not all up to you to help them cope.

Tell your friend how important they are to you. Think carefully about them and tell them why they are a good friend for you.

You can also encourage your friend to talk to a Childline counsellor or a doctor. It really helps to talk to someone. They might find it easier to talk to someone who they don’t know.

Remember that you're not responsible for stopping your friend from hurting themselves. It’s important that you get support too. If helping your friend is difficult or upsetting, you can talk to a Childline counsellor for support too.

Losing someone to suicide

If someone ends their own life, it’s extremely upsetting for their friends and family. Everyone reacts differently to something like this. But you might feel confused or angry. Some people feel embarrassed. And others wonder if there’s something they could have done to stop their friend, parent or sibling ending their life. These are all natural reactions. But remember that someone’s suicide didn’t happen because of something you did or didn’t do.

You can get support by:


Is self-harm the same as being suicidal?

Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves on purpose. It can be a way of dealing with difficult or painful feelings. If someone self-harms, it doesn’t always mean they're suicidal.

Some types of self-harm can be very dangerous. It could put someone’s life at risk, even if they're not suicidal. If you or a friend have self-harmed and you think it could be dangerous, get help straight away by calling 999.

Who self-harms?
There are a few myths about the type of person who self-harms. But lots of different types of people struggle with self-harm. Boys and girls. Young and old. People from different backgrounds and with different tastes in music. Lots of people are affected by self-harm. The important thing to remember is you’re not alone and you can get help.

Coping with self-harm - Will's Story