How to manage thoughts of suicide and get support

Thoughts of suicide

2 types of thoughts:


Active thoughts of suicide involves clear, specific thoughts about suicide or plans to take your own life


Passive thoughts of suicide involves a less-defined shape, when you have thoughts of dying but you don't have an actual plan to die

What to do with active suicidal thoughts

These steps can help you stay safe while you work on getting more longer-term support:
1. Reach out
2. Go somewhere safe
3. Lock up or get rid of weapons
4. Avoid alcohol and other substances
5. Try grounding techniques
6. Do something that helps you relax

How to handle passive thoughts of suicide

Tips to manage them:
1. Recognise the signs
2. Get professional support
3. Work on a crisis plan
4. Stay connected with people who care about you
5. Find positive distractions
6. Focus on self-care
Remember that you are not alone. Sharing your thoughts with a loved one or therapist can make it easier to get the right kind of support.

What causes suicidal thoughts?


Symptom of an underlying mental health condition




Life stressors or challenges


Chronic pain and/ or life threatening health conditions


Isolation or bullying at school or work


Family or relationship abuse


Having weapons at home


Attempting suicide in the past

How to offer support

You might worry that asking them will give them the idea of suicide. Evidence suggests asking about suicide generally won’t increase these thoughts. In fact, asking about suicidal thoughts can have more of a positive impact, as it lets them know you're willing to listen and offer support.

Getting help for suicidal thoughts

Support from a trained mental health professional can offer compassionate guidance and professional support with:
1. Identifying key triggers or causes, including signs of mental healh conditions
2. Developing a safety plan
3. Exploring ways to share your thoughts with loved ones
4. Building new skills to cope with suicidal thoughts
5. Talking through possible solutions for distressing life challenges
6. Recommend helpful therapy approaches

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