Suicide Ideation


Suicidal feelings happen when the pain and torment become so overbearing, we simply can’t see any other way out. That doesn’t mean that it’s not there; it just means that we’re unable to see it. It’s like blinkered vision. It may not seem like it right now, but you can overcome these feelings; it and the pain that is causing it, will pass. What’s important is that you get the right support.

Feeling suicidal is no reflection of your value as a person. Many people have suicidal thoughts at some point — more people than you might think, and there are many world-renowned and highly respected people who have gone through this. Suicide simply means that, at the moment, you have more pain than you feel able to cope with — that’s nothing to be ashamed about.

It’s important to remember that, no matter how bad you feel, there are people out there who care about and value you. It might not seem like it, but losing you would leave a devastating hole in their lives that can never be filled. Everyone has loads of unreleased potential, and by cutting your life short, you are depriving the world — and yourself — of this. Imagine the things you could do if you were in a better place. Imagine the people you could help. That’s not to say what you’re feeling is selfish — but rather than let the suicidal feelings overwhelm you, take a breath, pause, and think — even just for a moment – of what wonderful experiences and achievements you could have if you just had a bit of help to get out of the darkness.

Everything is temporary; just because you’re feeling this way now doesn’t mean you always have to be. If you feel suicidal or like there’s no way out, consider some of the following steps:

1. Talking is good

No matter how tempting it is, don’t cut yourself off from people. Talk to your family and/or friends about how you feel. Talk to a therapist. If you can’t find anyone to readily talk to when the feelings hit, you can always rely on helplines (I’ll list some below) staffed by people trained to help people feel who suicidal.

2. Have a support plan to hand

Make sure you have a plan in place for when things get tough. Keep a list of contacts handy, so if life does get overwhelming, you can readily call upon those you trust for support. It’s a good idea to keep the numbers of crisis hotlines handy too.

3. Routine is important

Make (and stick to) a schedule of things to fill your day with. Stick to them even when you don’t feel like it.

4. Don’t coop yourself up

Vitamin D helps release serotonin which is known to be linked with our mood. Try to get out in the sunshine for at least 30 minutes every day. Of course, we can’t always rely on the sun to come out in Ireland, but it’s still important (and beneficial) to get plenty of fresh air.

5. Exercise helps

Exercise is beneficial too, whether it be a short walk, jog or run. Aim for 30 minutes a day, but every little helps, even if it’s a few ten-minute sessions throughout the day.

6. Don’t give up the things you enjoy

Even when you might not be in the mood for them, keep them up anyway.

7. Remember the positives

Never lose sight of your goals and motivations, even when all seems lost. Keep a list of things you enjoy doing or would like to do. Maybe a list of places you’d like to see, new movies or books you think you’ll enjoy, a class you’re thinking of doing, friends you’re looking forward to catching up with, your pets, family members, anything. You’ve every chance of enjoying life again, and the only thing definitely precludes this is suicide itself.

What NOT to do

Of course, there are also things we should avoid when suicidal thoughts plague us:

1. Don’t keep to yourself

Staying alone never helps. If you’re feeling suicidal or very depressed, keep in contact with trusted loved ones. Visit friends and family, and as mentioned earlier, keep a list of support and crisis numbers ready to hand.

2. Don’t resort to alcohol or drugs

It may be tempting but stay well away from drugs and alcohol when going through a depressive or suicidal period. They can add fuel to the fire and make the situation worse, acting as depressants in themselves and also affect our judgement, causing us to make rash decisions on a whim.

3. Don’t wrap yourself up in things that make you feel sad

Avoid reading old letters, looking at photographs or visiting gravesites or other things that just reinforce your sadness. Avoid listening to sombre songs or watching sad movies or television shows. They won’t help. Try to focus on positive things (including future ones).

4. Don’t dwell on negative thoughts

It sounds easier than it is, I know. But do try your best to distract yourself when negative, depressing or suicidal thoughts occur. Think of your friends, family, pets, fun activities, places you’d love to see, anything that motivates you. It’s also worth trying meditation. Remember, thoughts are only thoughts, and they don’t control who you are or what you do.

Suicide Ideation Safety Plan

Step 1: Don’t do anything in the moment

Things may be looking grim right now, but that doesn’t mean they always will be. Promise yourself not to do anything right now; give yourself a day or even more before thinking about it any further. There’s no one making you have these thoughts, which are just that, thoughts. They don’t have to correspond to your actions. Just wait. Thoughts subside.

Step 2: Stay away from alcohol and drugs

As mentioned earlier, it’s best to stay away from alcohol and non-prescription drugs when going through depression or suicidal thoughts. They can cloud our decision-making and act as a depressant, the last thing you need when you’re having suicidal thoughts.

Step 3: Make sure your surroundings are safe.

Make sure that your home is free of dangerous objects and substances. This may mean giving them to someone you trust, and these items might include sharp objects, tablets, alcohol, or indeed weapons.

Step 4: Share your feelings with someone you trust.

There is no shame in these feelings, and it’s best to share them with someone you trust rather than bottling them in. The best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to the people you love and trust. It’s worth talking to a general practitioner or a psychotherapist and calling one of the crisis hotlines. There are plenty of people out there ready to help and support you.

Step 5: There’s always hope; it’s never too late

People can and DO get through suicidal thoughts and come out ok. Always remember that feelings are temporal; they don’t have to last forever. There is always hope, even when you can’t see it.

Support numbers and helplines

Samaritans provide a confidential listening service to those struggling to cope, including people who are feeling suicidal. Apart from their phone helpline, you can also write to them by email or letter.

  • Call (Free phone): 116 123
  • Email:

Childline is a free, 24/7, listening service for every child and young person in Ireland. It offers free phone, text and instant messaging services to those struggling.

  • Call (Free phone):(0818) 278 185
  • Text (free): 50101
  • Live message – here

Pieta House
Pieta House offers 24/7 support through email and text to those suffering from suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

  • Text ‘Help’ to 51444 (standard rates may apply)
  • Email:

Traveller Counselling Service
The Traveller Counselling Service works from a culturally inclusive framework to provide community-based counselling service to the Traveller community.

  • Phone: 01 868 5761
  • Mobile: 086 308 1476
  • Email: is Ireland’s youth information service which aims to provide young people aged 16-25 with access to reliable, helpful information about physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Text SPUNOUT to 50808
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