Suicidal thoughts

Nearly everyone has times when they feel very down and can’t see a way out, sometimes these feelings are so strong and overwhelming it can lead to attempts to end their life. A person can feel so intensely negative about life they cannot see the point in carrying on.

When does it happen?

Life changes and hormonal changes can mean young people are often be more vulnerable to suicidal feelings especially if they do not know how to overcome their problems and there is no one to help them.

Young people who are experiencing pressure at school, career choices, worries about relationships and sexuality and feeling scared about the future can sometimes feel, if they have nobody to help them to overcome these problems, that suicide is the best alternative.  The risks are higher if a young person:

  • Has a serious mental problems and or is depressed
  • Uses drugs and alcohol when upset
  • Has previously tried to kill themselves before
  • Has planned to commit suicide
  • Knows of a family or friend who has tried to commit suicide

Non-urgent advice: What can I do?

If you’re reading this because you’re having suicidal thoughts, try to ask someone for help. It may be difficult at this time, but it’s important to know you’re not beyond help and you’re not alone. Talk to someone you trust like a member of your family or a teacher.

Talking to someone can help you see beyond feelings of loneliness or despair and help you realise there are options. There are people who want to talk to you and help. Try talking to a family member or friend about how you’re feeling.

Telephone helplines

There are several telephone helplines you can call at any time of the day or night. You can speak to someone who understands how you’re feeling and can help you through the immediate crisis. Talking to someone can help you see beyond feelings of loneliness or despair and help you realise there are options.

Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at

Call 116 123

Childline runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

Call 0800 1111

Further information

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.

Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

Speak to someone you trust

If you don’t want to speak to someone on a helpline, you could talk to:

  • your GP, a mental healthcare professional or another healthcare professional
  • a minister, priest or other type of faith leader

See your GP

It would also help to see your GP. They can advise you about appropriate treatment if they think you have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.

Your GP may be able to help you with access to talking therapies. Talking therapies, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), are often used to help people who have suicidal thoughts and usually involve talking about your feelings with a professional.

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Page last reviewed: 20 December, 2023