I want to die

This is just a thought you are having now. Suicidal thoughts are symptoms of an illness – they are not part of you.

1. Talk to someone

If you were drowning or in an accident, your friends would rush to help you! Tell them your life is in danger from suicide.

Tell them you feel bad and that you are thinking of ending it all. Saying it out loud can help you understand the reality of what you are contemplating.

If you can’t talk to a friend or someone in your family, call Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Youth Beyondblue (1300 224 636). Their counsellors help people who feel like you do.

2. Write down what you’d tell a friend who was feeling suicidal

You would never advise a friend to die; tell yourself what you’d tell a friend.

3. Be with someone

Go and see someone or ask someone to come to you. If it’s night time, ask them to stay over, or ask if you can spend the night at their house. Please don’t be alone at night with suicidal thoughts.

4. Do not drink alcohol or take drugs

Booze and drugs destroy your logic and intelligence and allow your emotions and impulses take over. Plus they drastically exaggerate your feelings.

5. Make yourself safe

Get rid of the methods you were contemplating using. Or ask your friend to lock them away. Don’t go near the places that were part of your plan.

6. Go to sleep instead

Doctors give people painkillers to make them sleep when they have bad physical pain because they know that when they wake up, the pain will be less. It’s the same for psychological pain. Go to bed and try to sleep.

If you have been prescribed sleeping tablets, take a safe dose of these; even if you don’t sleep, they will lessen your emotional pain. When you wake up, you can access help from family, friends and professionals.

Nearly every single person who felt suicidal is now glad to be alive.

I remember when my boyfriend attempted suicide after I told him I wanted to break up. I didn’t know anything about mental illness and felt terrible that I’d had no idea that he was suffering so badly. When he was in the intensive care unit, the little pulse monitor they put on his toe kept slipping off and he would carefully reach down and put it back on his toe. I knew then that he didn’t really want to die. He just wanted the pain to stop.

Life always changes. Hold on!