Health Mental health Suicide How can I tell someone I'm feeling suicidal? "Starting the conversation about your suicidal thoughts can be intense — but it's the first step towards recovery and feeling like yourself again." If you’re in immediate danger and feel like you may hurt yourself, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. The emergency services will take you somewhere safe. It's common for people in the LGBTQ+ community to experience suicidal thoughts or consider taking their own life. There are lots of factors that make us more vulnerable to suicide: higher rates of depression and anxiety, bullying, harassment, discrimination and even violence all negatively impact our mental health. It's important to remember that even though you might feel alone, talking with other people can help. It's a first step that takes courage, but is probably a lot easier than you may think. How Can I Tell Someone I’m Suicidal? The first step in starting the conversation is gathering your thoughts and feelings. Think about how long you have had these thoughts for. How frequently the thoughts occur and what triggers them. If you’ve thought about how you’ve wanted to end your life and how the person you’re telling can support you. After you’ve processed your thoughts and feelings you may be ready to tell someone. Begin by telling them that you have something important you want to share. Let them know that you are sharing this information with them because you trust them. Here are some example sentences that can help you talk about your suicidal thoughts: I have been thinking about suicide for the past (day/week/month/year/_____). I have thought about dying every (minute/hour/day/week/____). I have struggled with (eating/sleeping/self-harm/overwhelming sadness/____). I have been feeling (hopeless/trapped/unbearable/anxious/isolated/____). I would like to (talk to a doctor or therapist/find a LGBTQ+ friendly support group/____) and I need your help. What if I feel ashamed? It's important to remember that suicidal feelings are more common than you think and you're far from the only person feeling this way. There is no shame in telling other people how you feel, or asking for help. It's tempting to pre-judge other people's reactions and imagine them responding negatively, but in fact most people in your life will want to know how you're feeling and how they can help. Try to imagine your reaction if someone else told you they were feeling this way. What would you say? Would you judge them harshly or would you offer them compassion and feel glad that they trusted you? The answer is almost certainly the latter. Who Should I Tell? Think about who you would like to support you through this. Below are some suggestions and you should start with the option that you are most comfortable with right now. Friends & Family Opening up to supportive friends and family is a great place to start. Being able to open up to the people that are closest to you can be such a relief, since you no longer have to hide what you are feeling. It also does not only have to be family or friends, this can include anyone in your personal life that you are close to like teachers, coaches, religious leaders, etc. Professionals Some professionals you can open up to about your mental health include doctors, therapists or peer supporters (people in recovery from mental health conditions who use their life’s experiences to help others along pathways to recovery). Another great place to start is by telling your doctor (if you already see one) and they can help you find a therapist or any other specialists you may need to see. Support Groups In todays age, support groups can be both in person or online. These groups are made up of people who have gone through similar things. It is a place where they talk about their daily life struggles and strategies they have used to cope and thrive. These type of support groups can be nice as they help provide a sense of community. It can be comforting to know that other people have experienced similar things that you have gone through. Anonymous Helplines Hotline, online support or text lines can also be helpful. These are typically run by trained volunteer or employees who are there to listen to those who reach out. Sometimes talking to a stranger can help make you feel safer about what you are sharing. It also means that strangers can provide more objective feedback than the people who are more involved in your life. Some places to reach out to if you need to speak to someone: Switchboard 0300 330 0630 — the longest-running helpline for LGBTQ+ people that provides support through phone, email ([email protected]) and instant messaging. LGBT Foundation 0345 3 30 30 30 — LGBT Foundation is based in Manchester but offers country-wide support to LGBTQ+ people through its helpline. Mindline Trans + 0300 330 5468 — Emotional and mental health support helpline for anyone identifying as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid. They also support family members, friends, colleagues and carers. Samaritans 116 123 — they run a confidential, 24/7 phone line that will listen and provide guidance, If you or someone you know are at risk of harming themselves, you should call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance. Starting the conversation about your suicidal thoughts can be difficult, intense and uncomfortable—but is courageous and the first step towards recovery and feeling like yourself again. Many people in the LGBTQ+ community experience suicidal thoughts which means that you are not alone. Know that it does get better and it begins by having a conversation with the right person.