Getting Through Together / Suicide Prevention / Having suicidal thoughts?

If you are having thoughts of suicide, you are not alone. There are lots of ways you can find support to get through this.

COVID-19 is causing a lot of worry and uncertainty for people. It’s all right to feel anxious, angry, scared or sad right now. This is a normal reaction and many people will be feeling these things. If you are having thoughts of suicide, you are not alone. You won’t always feel like this.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 to chat with a trained counsellor. It’s confidential and they are available at any time.

We are all being asked to limit physical contact with others to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and this may be really hard for some. Many of us will feel overwhelmed, isolated or disconnected from others. Some people may also be having thoughts of suicide.

People from all backgrounds, with different experiences, can feel suicidal. Lots of people go through this and at the moment, things might feel especially difficult for some of us.

Having suicidal thoughts can be overwhelming and sometimes terrifying. It can be really hard to know what to do and how to cope.

You can get through this. We will get through this together. 

If you are worried about your immediate safety call your local mental health crisis assessment team. If you are in immediate physical danger, call 111. 

As hard as it is, reaching out and talking about how you feel or what you’re thinking with a trusted friend, whānau or family member can really make a difference. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it’s the bravest thing you can do.

If you don’t want to talk to someone in your home or mirumuru/bubble, or if you are living on your own at the moment, you can reach out to others by giving them a call, a text or email. If the first person you talk to doesn’t listen, try someone else.

There is also professional help available for everyone, including during noho rāhui/lockdown.

There are lots of ways you can find support to get through this:

  • You can free call or text 1737 to have a chat with a trained counsellor. They’re available day and night.

  • Your GP, doctor or hauora service can help you access counselling and mental health services. Call before going in, as during this time health staff are limiting physical contact and are happy to speak to people over the phone.

  • Counsellors or psychologists are people who are trained to talk through the really hard stuff. During this time they can still communicate with people over the phone or using the internet. Your GP may be able to connect you with someone, your employer may have an EAP programme you could access or you can see the Mental Health Foundation’s guide to finding a counsellor.

  • Mental health crisis teams can help in emergencies if you’re feeling really unsafe.

People who have lived through suicidal thoughts and experiences have found the following ideas have given them hope and helped them recover from suicidal feelings:

  • Try to remember that thoughts about killing yourself are just thoughts. You don’t have to act on them. You won’t always have these thoughts.

  • Connect with others. Right now, this is really important. Remember that physical distancing is not the same as being socially isolated. You can still reach out to some you trust about what’s on your mind by through social media, phone calls, texts or emails.

  • Be kind to yourself. You only have to cope with one day or one hour at a time.

  • Keep safe. Get rid of anything you think you might use to hurt or kill yourself, or put it somewhere you can’t access it. Make a safety plan so you know what to do if you feel really bad. You can download a copy of this safety plan and fill it out to keep near you when you need it. 

  • Distract yourself. Keep a list of things you can do to distract yourself, like watching a video, calling a friend, taking a walk around the block or listening to music.

  • Look after yourself. Although during this time we may not be in our usual routines, it is still important to rest, eat regularly and get some physical activity. A walk around the block or doing some stretches at home can make a big difference. If you’re taking prescription medicine don’t stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.