WAIT — What you're feeling and what you do are two different things — put some distance between your thoughts and what you do.

If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it's not that other solutions don’t exist, it's that you just can't see them right now. Like hitting your thumb with a hammer, sometimes pain is overwhelming—even if you were offered a million dollars, all you may be able to think of at the time is "I'm hurting!" It takes real courage to think about dying. You can use that same courage to think about living. 

 

With Help Comes Hope. If you're feeling alone, like no one cares, or like no one can help, it's okay to reach out to someone you don't know—a crisis hotline is a great place to start. Services are free, confidential, and available 24/7/365. The staff is caring and compassionate; they won't judge or preach. Give them a chance to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help—1-800-273-8255 or text 273TALK to 839863.

 

If you're a youth, you can call the YouthLine at 877-968-8941 or text teen2teen to 839863.

 

  • If you have a trusted adult friend, family member, school coach, or counselor, tell the person exactly what you are telling yourself. If you have decided how you will die, tell the person you trust.

 

  • If it is too difficult for you to talk about, try writing it down and handing a note to the person you trust.  

 

  • Think back to another time in your life where you faced a similarly overwhelming or painful situation. What did you do to cope then? Can you do any of the same things now?

 

  • Think about a time when you felt a little better than you do at the moment. What did it feel like then? Try focusing on, or even writing about, the way you felt at that time.

 

  • Try to concentrate on the present. Stay focused on right now, minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour. Don't get stuck on what happened in the past or what may happen in the future.

 

  • Try breaking up your day by planning things to do that will distract you. Plan something to do for a short period of time, and then have another activity or task ready for when you finish that one.

 

Activities that you may find helpful include:

 

  • Listening to your favorite upbeat music—create a post-meltdown playlist on Pandora or other music streams.

 

  • Taking a shower

 

  • Sitting outside or going for a short walk

 

  • Spending time with your family or friends

 

 

  • Discovering the library (free internet access for Khan Academy)

 

  • Watching a favorite movie or TV program

 

  • Drawing, sketching or painting

 

  • Writing

 

  • Re-connecting with areas of your life that give you a sense of meaning--volunteer at a food bank, animal shelter, community clean-up, church, etc.

 

  • Taking some time out to treat yourself to a small thing you ordinarily enjoy and savoring it

 

  • Eating healthy food, drinking plenty of water, mindfulness

 

  • Instead of trying to stop your feelings or thoughts, try simply recognizing and acknowledging them without acting on them. Remember that you experience a whole range of thoughts and feelings apart from the ones you’re dealing with right now. Remind yourself that feelings and thoughts are temporary and will pass.

 

If nothing seems to help and you are having thoughts of suicide, please call 9-1-1 or a Helpline.