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There are times when life can be very stressful.You might have to deal with parents separating or getting divorced, the pressures of school and exams, bullying, abuse or feeling rejected and alone.These kinds of problems can seem so huge that it is hard to imagine things could ever get better.People may start thinking about or attempt suicide because:

  • Their feelings are so painful that they can see no other choice
  • They see death as an escape from pain
  • They hate themselves
  • They feel completely rejected and think that no one would care if they died
  • They lose hope and find it impossible to see things getting better
  • They feel ashamed
  • Life feels worthless

Deep down, the person may not want to die, but if their feelings of anger, sadness, loss, disappointment or shame are very strong, it can be hard to think clearly and to look to the future.

Are you thinking about suicide?

If you have been feeling down and the sadness lasts for several weeks,if youare finding it hard to eat, if you aren't sleeping well, or are having thoughts about death or suicide, it is important to get help. Suicide is a final decision - it can't be changed, so if you are thinking of suicide, take time to consider the following:

  • If you are depressed - it can be treated.There are many treatments that work and that can help you start feeling better
  • There are people who can help you find your strength and a way to get through this.They won't judge you and they'll be there to listen, no matter what you have to say. See the contacts section at the bottom of the page and the featured links opposite
  • The most important thing is to give yourself time. If you have lost someone, if you are having relationship problems, if you are being treated badly - remember that you are not alone.There are others who may have been through similar experiences, who can listen and offer support.

Are you worried about someone?

Although it isn't always possible to tell if someone is feeling suicidal, there are a few warning signs to be aware of, including:

  • When a person talks about suicide or death
  • When a person withdraws from friends or family
  • When someone gives away important personal possessions
  • When a person is abusing drugs or alcohol
  • You notice a change in behaviour, for instance, a normally outgoing person becomes withdrawn
  • When someone has trouble eating
  • When someone begins to sleep much more or much less

If you are worried about someone committing suicide, then there are a few points to remember:

  • Don't try to handle things on your own.If the person you're worried about asks you to keep it a secret, explain that it is too much responsibility for one person to have on his or her own
  • Talk to someone you can trust, like a GP, teacher, youth worker, parent or counsellor

If you are worried and need someone to talk to, there are people who can help.Try one of the organisations listed in the contacts section below or the featured links opposite.

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