Suicidal Thoughts

suicide word cloud

What are Suicidal Thoughts?

Suicidal thoughts occur when one contemplates suicide. Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your life.

If you are reading this because you have, or have had, thoughts about taking your own life, it is important you ask someone for help. It is probably difficult for you to see at this time, but you are not alone and not beyond help.

  • speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust as they may be able to help you calm down and find some breathing space
  • call the Samaritans 24-hour support service on 08457 90 90 90
  • go to, or call, your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and tell the staff how you are feeling
  • contact NHS 111
  • make an urgent appointment to see your GP

Many people who have had suicidal thoughts say they were so overwhelmed by negative feelings they felt they had no other option. However, with support and treatment they were able to allow the negative feelings to pass.

If you are worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, try to encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. Listening is the best way to help. Try to avoid offering solutions and try not to judge.

If they have previously been diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as depression, speak to a member of their care team for help and advice.


How do Suicidal Thoughts develop?

There is no single reason why someone may try to take their own life, but certain things can increase the risk.

A person may be more likely to have suicidal thoughts if they have a mental health condition, such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Many other causes such as misusing alcohol or drugs, having poor job security or economic stress, or relationship strife can also increase vulnerability.

It is not always possible to prevent suicidal thoughts, but keeping one’s mind healthy with regular exercise, healthy eating and maintaining friendships can aid better coping with stressful or upsetting situations.

Read more about the causes of suicide and preventing suicide.