Got a burning question about mental health difficulties? Want non-professional, peer-to-peer advice? Look no further, this feature will appear every month and invites readers to send in questions regarding mental health for tips and advice*. My name is Leanne and I have both specialist training and personal experience in mental health and will aim to provide user-friendly, non-professional advice to anyone who asks for it!
HOW TO ASK:
Please send your questions to: email@example.com
*Please note not all questions will be answered, and all will be posted anonymously. If you are seeking urgent or professional advice, please see our contact list at the end of this sub-section.
Q: I feel suicidal a lot and my current coping mechanisms aren’t working very well, what else can I try?
A: I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling rubbish. I am unsure what coping mechanisms you have tried previously but here is a list of things that may help you with your suicidal thoughts:
Take yourself somewhere where you are with someone else. Being around someone else can help with grounding yourself and reassure you that someone is there if you did decide to talk about how you are feeling.
Another idea is to call a helpline, Samaritans are extremely helpful and are specially trained to talk through these types of problems with people. They provide a non-judgemental service and an anonymous and confidential service. People fear that an ambulance may be called if you confide that you have hurt yourself, but they will not do this unless you ask them to. The call line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, and is a free number. Samaritans: 116 123.
Other ways of coping with suicidal thoughts are to write down your feelings, some people write poetry and some people keep diaries.
Focusing on the present day and trying to get through that one day can be helpful, it minimises work-load and allows us to focus on the present. Try and do activities that you enjoy doing, this helps to distract you from your thoughts.
Be aware of your triggers. It sounds obvious but try and avoid the situations or things that can amplify your suicidal thoughts. Try and refrain from taking drugs and drinking alcohol, both can heighten suicidal thoughts. There are websites which can aid with these thoughts and feelings; rethink.org, papyrus-uk.org and MIND.org.uk.
If you are feeling like you are unable to manage these thoughts, then call 999 and talk to the operators on the phone. Alternatively, if you can call your GP, they can put you in touch with the mental health teams who can work with you to manage this.
There is hope, and people out there do want to help you, try and stay strong, and I wish you all the best. Remember, you may feel extremely alone in this but there are many thousands of people who are experiencing similar things to you. You got this.