I’m feeling suicidal. What should I do?

What to do when you feel suicidal.

Written by spunout


If you are reading this page then perhaps you or someone you know is thinking about suicide. If your friend or family member is thinking of suicide you can read more on our factsheet on helping a friend who is suicidal.

If you are in a self harm or suicide emergency, call 999 or 112, or go to your local A&E, as soon as possible.

Understanding suicidal feelings

Suicidal feelings can be frightening for the person experiencing them, as well as for their friends and family. Suicide is complex and sometimes there may seem to be no obvious reason as to why you might feel suicidal. You may be finding it difficult to talk about your feelings, and what’s going on for you. You may want people to understand but may not have the words to adequately describe what is going on.

What can I do if I feel suicidal?

Here are some things you can do in the moment if you’re feeling suicidal:

Talk to someone

If you are concerned about yourself the first thing you should do is to talk to someone. Choose someone you trust, like maybe a family member or close friend. It can also really help to talk to a therapist or counselling service. You might find it difficult to put words on how you’re feeling but that’s ok. Just even saying to someone that you’re not feeling well and not ok will be enough to let them know you need their support. Read our article about how to open up to someone about your mental health.

It can be hard to talk, and it can be hard to know where to start. Talking about your inner fears and feelings can be difficult. Sometimes it feels like you don’t have the right words to describe how you are feeling, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions. It’s easy to understand a physical pain but an emotional pain can be confusing and it can be harder to understand why you feel a certain way. Don’t worry this is extremely common, and you’re not the first person to feel this way.

Find a list of suicide support services around the country here with people there to listen when you talk.

Traveller Counselling Service

If you are a young Traveller and would like to speak to a counsellor who specifically works with the Travelling Community, the Traveller Counselling Service can support you. The service works from a culturally inclusive framework which respects Traveller culture, identity, values and norms. They provide Traveller culture centred counselling and psychotherapy. They are a Dublin based service but offer counselling both in person and online.

Call or text a helpline

Our text message support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We provide in-the-moment anonymous support and problem solving when you need it most. Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer. Standard text rates may apply.

Pieta House
offer services for people who self-harm, suffer from suicidal ideation or have made suicide attempts, you can contact them 24/7 by texting ‘Help’ to 51444 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) or by calling 1800 247 247.

Samaritans offers a 24 hour listening service. over text message. Call 116 123 to talk to someone over the phone.

Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am – 4am every day to young people under 18, text ‘Talk’ to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message or call 1800 66 66 66.

Go to where you feel safest

Try to avoid being alone, and think about where you feel safe. This may mean coming out of your bedroom and joining family or flatmates, asking someone to call over or making a call to someone.

Get rid of anything you can use to hurt yourself

If you have anything that you could use to hurt yourself, dispose of it or give it to someone you trust. If you have a plan of how you might cause harm to yourself, share that plan with someone who can help keep you safe.

Contact emergency services

If you are suicidal with a specific plan to end your life, you need to call 999 or if you can, go to your nearest A&E or out of hours GP service.

Write things down

Sometimes people choose to write their feelings down on paper and use that to help guide them when opening up to someone. This can also be a good way to avoid self harm.

These lists of self harm distraction techniques and ways to deal with urges to self harm may give you some ideas when looking for new ways to cope.

Managing suicidal feelings

There are things you can do to help yourself in the long-term, so that you are prepared when suicidal thoughts or feelings come up.

Develop a safety plan

A safety plan is a plan that lays out the steps you will take every time you experience suicidal thoughts or have an urge to hurt yourself. It can include calling a friend or a helpline, going somewhere safe, or visiting A&E. Your safety plan will always be there with the steps to follow each time you are feeling suicidal.

Learn about creating a safety plan.

Find ways to cope with suicidal thoughts

Having suicidal thoughts can be scary, but there are things you can do to try and control them. This includes talking to someone, developing a safety plan, remembering your reasons for living, and getting professional help. 

Find out more about how to cope with suicidal thoughts.

Contact a suicide support service

There are suicide support services all around Ireland who are there to offer both crisis support and longer-term support to help you manage your feelings. Getting in touch with a support service is a great first step.

You can also go to your local GP who will be able to refer you onto other services if necessary. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed by what you are feeling, as your GP will have seen it all before. Read our article on visiting a GP for a mental health problem.

Feeling overwhelmed and want to talk to someone?

If you are a customer of the 48 or An Post network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 086 1800 280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’.

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