Why am I feeling suicidal?

There can be many different reasons that lead to you feeling suicidal, such as feeling alone, trapped, depressed, or hopeless. Maybe you even feel like things will never get better, or like you don’t matter. Maybe you feel isolated living in your community, or maybe you’re living in a city away from family and friends. Maybe you just lost a friend you love, or haven’t been treated too nicely.

Whatever the reasons are, finding resources or different ways to reach out can be hard. It can be really difficult to ask for help, and you may feel like nobody understands the pain and loneliness you are experiencing.

The good news is that there are other people who have overcome their pain and loneliness, and who have decided that suicide is not the answer. You can do the same.

I am feeling suicidal. What can I do?

TALK TO SOMEONE

Reach out to a friend, call a crisis line, message a family member. Telling someone how you feel can be really hard, but staying silent can be even harder. If you don’t feel like talking, then ask someone to just stay with you on the phone, or to sit with you until you feel a little bit better.

MAKE A LIST

Write down a list of things that make you happy. Everybody has activities that make them happy, whether it is drawing, walking your dog, watching a favourite TV show, or playing a sport. By making a list of these things, whether it is one thing or 20, you remind yourself of the things that make you feel good about living.

THINK OF THE PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT

Choosing to take your life means choosing to leave the people you care about behind. Friends, family, elders, pets – they love you. You may think taking your life will be better for everyone, but by taking your life, you are passing on your pain to the people who care about you. They don’t want to live without you.

TURN TO CULTURE

Say a prayer, look to your creator, find someone to smudge or do ceremony with, take a walk in nature, or listen to traditional music. Culture can make us feel stronger and less alone – that is the reason it exists. You are an important part of something bigger, and your ancestors are always looking out for you. You’re supposed to be here.

WATCH A WE MATTER VIDEO

The We Matter Campaign was started for you, by people like you who have experienced feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. FIND A VIDEO that you can relate to, and watch it five times if you need to. You are just as strong and capable as everyone who has already made a video.

We’re here for you at We Matter, we love you, and we truly believe that you can make it through the darkness. There is hope, you just have to reach out for support.

If you have already made plans for suicide or you don’t trust yourself to be alone, call 911 or your local emergency number.

My friend/family member is feeling suicidal. What can I do to help?

If you’ve noticed that your friend or family member has changed the way they act recently, like showing signs of:

  • Not wanting to do things they used to
  • Keeping to themselves more than usual
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviour
  • Saying things like “It will be over soon” or “I’m giving up”

Or you’re generally worried about them, then there are a few things you should do to help keep them safe and supported.

Ask Them If They Are Suicidal

Ask them if they are suicidal or thinking about killing themselves. They could be scared to open up, so you asking can make it easier for them to share. Make sure to not be judgmental, and to be kind and gentle when you’re asking them. You can say things like: “I’ve noticed you’ve been really down lately, are you thinking about suicide?”

Listen to What They Have to Tell You

Listen to what they have to tell you and how they are feeling. Make sure to take them seriously if they do mention suicidal thoughts. Be as open as you can, and let them know you’re glad that they opened up to you.

Try to Figure Out as Many Details As You Can

If they are suicidal, then try to figure out as many details as you can. Try to ask questions like: “Have you thought about when or how you would do it?” This lets you know how seriously they have planned to take action. Once you have a better idea of where the person is at, you can help them make a plan to keep safe: recommend doing the 5 things listed above, make sure they have a safe place to stay and aren’t alone, make a list together of people and crisis lines they can call if they’re feeling suicidal again, and let them know you care about them and want to help.

Reach Out For More Support

Reach out for more support. It can be difficult to support someone who is suicidal, and so it’s important to find more resources, whether through an older family member, a nurse or health centre, or a teacher or youth worker. Try not to keep things a secret, even if they ask you to, as it can feel heavy keeping things to yourself.

Take Care of Yourself

Take care of yourself. Being a listening ear and supporting someone who is suicidal can be really overwhelming. Make sure to do something nice for yourself and take care of your own needs, like reaching out to your own supports, going for a walk, doing any activities you like, sleeping, or watching a favourite movie.

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Additional Resources:

HOPE Clan

Build your support network.

http://www.hopeclan.ca/

Centre for Suicide Prevention

The Centre offers supportive workshops for Indigenous communities.

www.suicideinfo.ca

Youth Space

A more detailed guide on supporting a friend.

http://youthspace.ca/resources/youthspace-guides/

© 2017 WE MATTER