Suicidal thoughts

Sometimes we all feel down, but some young people may feel so depressed they consider suicide. Life can feel hopeless and everything seems out of control and utterly overwhelming.

But your life absolutely is worth it – hopeless and helpless feelings do change. Get help instead of hurting yourself and those who love and care about you, forever. There is an alternative.

After accidents, suicide is the leading cause of young deaths in the UK, but death, dying and suicide are often not openly talked about. They need to be. There is nothing shameful about suicidal feelings, it is possible and appropriate to talk about them, and it is entirely possible to get beyond those feelings to a better frame of mind. Whether it’s for you, or someone you are worried about, there are people who can listen and not judge and who can help you make sense of things.

Get help. There are people who can and want to help you find a better way out of misery:

  • The Samaritans have a 24-hour helpline for anyone at any time. Call 116 123
  • Papyrus UK is a charity working to prevent young suicide. For free confidential advice, call 0800 068 4141
  • Young Minds is a UK young people’s mental health and wellbeing charity.

Feeling like life is not worth it is the bleakest feeling there is. Feeling like we are not worth life is maybe the way it really feels – being ashamed of ourselves, not feeling worthy, feeling powerless – these are the sorts of feelings that can lead people to think about death. We can feel suicidal when bad things happen to us, like a sense of failure, or a breakup, or going through a family crisis.

Sometimes, we can feel a sort of wish to ‘not be here’, which is not quite the same as feeling suicidal which is more focused on how to carry it out. ‘Death’ is a part of life, and it takes many forms – losing a friendship, a pet, our sense of ourselves, or a family member actually dying are all in the category of a type of ‘death’ – which we call ‘loss’.

If you feel like there is nothing to live for, think again. Your life and your contribution to life is important and everyone has a purpose, sometimes we don’t discover a sense of purpose until later on but we all have something powerful to contribute. Just being kind and believing in people and yourself can be enough of a purpose – it is life-enhancing – or purpose can be something we contribute through work or research or volunteering.

BBC Radio 1 has some information you might find helpful on their ‘Helping you get through life’ pages here.