* How you suggest we can persuade someone not to attempt suicide or to self-harm.

* How you coped if you or a friend have had such thoughts.

* How you felt after surviving self-harm or attempting suicide.

* Your thoughts on how to deal with the emotional pain or despair that drives people to consider drastic actions.


We value your opinions and suggestions as a concerned person, whether you are a mental health professional or not. Many phrases, actions and points of view can be turning points in the lives of others. I want to hear more ideas. Please use the form on this page to send us your suggestions or personal stories. We will post what we can – anonymously, of course.

I am a medical specialist and a psychiatrist but I don’t have all the answers. After multiple degrees and many years of experience, these are my suggestions. I hope they are useful:

  • You would never advise a friend to die; tell yourself what you’d tell a friend who had your problems.
  • Hold on – all pain fades away with time, whether mental or physical. Isn’t it true that a pain from a few years ago or even a few weeks ago doesn’t hurt you as much now, or perhaps doesn’t hurt at all?
  • Go to sleep to stop yourself doing something terrible, even if you need to take a safe dose of medication.
  • Human beings have inbuilt repair mechanisms to overcome depression and mental pain, and there is a huge amount of help out there, ranging from anonymous crisis lines and web chat sites to your family doctor and mental health professionals.
  • Try not to keep thinking about suicide or self-harm, as your brain gets used to the idea that such action is normal. You may have to distract yourself by mental challenges, even spelling words in reverse or doing maths in your head.


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