• Staying safe if you’re not sure life’s worth living
     

    This has been written by a group of people to support anyone in distress and feeling suicidal. We are a mixture of professionals supporting suicidal people, people who have got through tough times and people who have supported their own friends and family.
     

    Why we hope you read this

    • Because you know things are not going well or if someone asked if you were OK as they were worried about you.
    • You matter to those of us who wrote this.
    • Life can be tough and we want you to know how you can get through despite feeling like this.
    • You may have found yourself wishing that you were dead, or perhaps thinking that the people who you care about would be better off without you.
    • At times many people feel like they are not sure if they want to live or die and with support they can choose to live.
    • It will feel hard for you at the moment but it won’t always feel this way.
    • You too can find a way past how you feel now.
    • We hope you can manage to keep yourself safe. We would like you to think about how you may be able to do this, just until you can talk to someone about what is going on for you.
  • Are you suicidal right now?
     

    • If you are suicidal it’s hard if you’re not sure if you want to live or die – for now, can you hold off making this decision and please keep reading for some ideas about how to get through this.
       
    • If you feel you are losing hope please let yourself share our hope that you can get through this with the right support.
       
    • If you feel you can’t keep reading, why not call Samaritans on 116 123 (free-to-call number open 24/7) to give you a safe space where you can talk about what is happening, how you are feeling, and how to find your own way forward.
       
    • If you are a young person and need to talk now, please ring Childline on 0800 1111 to speak to a counsellor. Calls are free and confidential.
  • Advice for young people
     

    • It is important to find support from an adult you can talk to and trust.
    • You don’t have to cope with all your problems alone.
    • No problem is ever too big or too small to share.
    • Can you write down some feelings you have, this might make it easier for you to share with others.
    • No matter how bad things seem, even if you think you may be in trouble, it’s important that you keep yourself safe until you can get support.
    • Most young people will turn to their parents, carers  or someone in their immediate family but if you don’t think you can do this can you speak to another safe adult such as:
    • Another relative
    • A school nurse, teacher, school counsellor, pastoral care or guidance teacher
    • A social worker (if you have one)
    • A youth worker
    • A neighbour
    • If you need to talk now, please ring Childline on 0800 1111 to speak to a counsellor. Calls are free and confidential
    • Tell your GP (family doctor) and to help you get ready for your appointment you can find helpful tips from  Doc Ready. Also on Twitter @DocReady
    • If possible it’s better to tell an adult but if you feel you can’t, could you tell a close friend so they could help you tell an adult?

    There are other online and helpline support organisation for young people too. They are listed in ‘Feeling overwhelmed’ leaflet.

    If you are outside the UK please click here for a list of support organisations in your country.

    Stay Alive App can be download here Apple App Store or Google Play
     

  • Why am I suicidal?
     

    • Suicidal people don’t usually want their life to end - they just want their emotional or physical pain to end.
       
    • Suicidal thoughts sometimes start because people feel overwhelmed by their problems or their situation. People can find it hard to see a way out.
       
    • Suicidal thoughts are far more common than people realise – we just don’t talk about them.
       
    • Absolutely anyone might have thoughts of suicide.
       
    • People can become suicidal if they have really difficult or upsetting things to deal with or if they have lots of smaller worries that combine to make them feel overwhelmed.
       
    • Telling someone how you feel can be embarrassing or frightening.  But talking to someone is the first step to getting help and staying safe.
       
    • Another step to getting through this is to think about making a safety plan.
       
    • Think about how you can keep yourself safe, just for now, until you talk to someone to discuss why you feel like this.

       
  • What is a Safety Plan?
     

    It is a short plan that you fill out yourself so that if you struggle with thoughts of suicide you can use your own ideas about how to get support and keep safe.
     

    • It will include what you can do for yourself when you are feeling suicidal and how you can find support.
       
    • This will help you stay safe
       
    • It is more likely to work because you have chosen the kind of support that you feel comfortable with.
       
    • Everyone can have a safety plan before they become suicidal - it’s like putting on  a seat-belt before a car journey.
       
    • It’s easier to put together a safety plan when you are calm.
       
    • Even if you are distressed right now, it’s still OK to make a safety plan - it’s never too late.
  • I can’t make a Safety Plan
     

    • If you are suicidal right now – it’s still OK to make a safety plan - it’s never too late.
       
    • Try to cope with things one step  at a time.
       
    • If you are very distressed then perhaps focus on getting through a couple of hours at a time or just the next few minutes.
       
    • This may be the time to accept that you need to talk to someone to help you get through.
       
    • On the next slide we  have  made a list of people you could speak to now and some different suggestions on how you can find support if you don’t feel ready to talk yet.
  • Who you can talk to now
     

    • A trusted friend,  relative or neighbour.
       
    • Contact Samaritans: Tel: 116 123 (free-to-call number). www.samaritans.org A 24/7 helpline service.
    • Contact a suicide prevention support organisation by phone, email, online or by text. A list of organisations can be found in the leaflet ‘Feeling overwhelmed and staying safe’.
       
    • Contact your mental health team or Care Co-ordinator if you have one.
       
    • Phone an NHS Helpline if you can’t wait to see your GP (family doctor):
      • In England, phone NHS 111 on 111
      • In Scotland, phone NHS24 on 111
      • In Wales, phone NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47
         
    • Make an appointment to see your GP (family doctor).
       
    • Go to your nearest Emergency Department (previously called A&E)  .

     

    It’s worth making a list of names and phone numbers when you have finished reading this. You can also add them to the safety plan included in the ‘Feeling overwhelmed and staying safe leaflet’
     

    If you are outside the UK please click here for a list of support organisations in your country.
     

    If you don't get the support you need at the first attempt, please keep trying.
    Different people find different types of support work for them. Some people need specialists, others need someone less formal outside the healthcare system to listen and others need both of these.

  • I’m not ready to talk
     

    If you can’t talk to someone right now please watch the U Can Cope film to see how  Matt, Cathy and Anthony found support and a way through when they felt suicidal. You can see it here.

    We hope the film will encourage you to tell someone how you feel perhaps you could seek support by text or on-line?
     


    The ‘Feeling overwhelmed and staying safe leaflet’ has lots of ideas and so does the Stay Alive suicide prevention app for smartphones and tablets, which can be download from Apple App Store or Google Play
     

  • How do I make a safety plan?


    For a simple step by step guide of how to make a safety plan please see the leaflet 'Feeling overwhelmed: helping you stay safe'.

    • Include things:
      • That you can do for yourself.
      • That other people can help with.
      • That remind you of your reasons for living.
      • That will lift your mood.
      • That help you feel less stressed.
      • That distract you from how bad you are feeling and help you get through the day or the next hour.
         
    • Include  a list of people you can talk to at any time of the day or night.
       
    • Remind yourself that thoughts and feelings can and do change and that with support you can find that small part of you that may still have some hope.
       
    • Writing a safety plan may seem too much, so break it down and do one part at a time.
       
    • Each part you can do  is a step closer to feeling like you can get through feeling suicidal.
       
    • Try to look after your physical needs too if you can, like trying to stay warm.
  • What if I’m already supported by a health professional?
     

    • Please tell them how you are feeling.
       
    • Please show them your safety plan, even if they haven’t asked to see it.
       
    • Even if the staff seem really busy they will want to know if you are feeling suicidal, so please tell them.
       
    • It would be good to ask them to help you make your safety plan.
       
    • You could include them in your safety plan.
  •  

     

     

    If you don't get the support you need at the first attempt, please keep trying.

    Different people find different types of support work for them. Some people need specialists, others need someone less formal outside the health system to listen and others need both of these.

    Don’t forget your safety plan belongs to you and you can always change it if you need to










    Many thanks to our contributors for their help with this document.

 

 

Feeling on the edge: helping you get through it.

A leaflet designed for people in distress attending the Emergency Department following self harm or with suicidal thoughts.

 

Feeling overwhelmed: helping you stay safe

A leaflet for anybody struggling to cope when bad things happen in their life.

 

U Can Cope

A leaflet designed to help young people develop the ability to cope with difficulties in their life.