Suicidal feelings

Explains what suicidal feelings are, including possible causes and how you can learn to cope.

Please note: this page contains information on support services for ongoing suicidal feelings. If you don't feel able to keep yourself safe right now, call 999 or go to A&E.

Alternatively, scroll to the top of this page and click the yellow 'I need urgent help' icon.

If you are experiencing ongoing suicidal feelings, you might feel as if there's nothing that could help. But there is support to help you cope with the problems that may be causing you to feel suicidal.

This page covers:

Support through your GP

Going to your GP is a good starting point. It is common to feel worried about talking to your doctor about suicidal feelings, but they will be used to listening to people who are experiencing difficult feelings.

Your GP can:

You might find it helpful to have a look at our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for tips on how to prepare for your GP appointment.

"Always ask for help. Talking is hard but people can help us through the hard times."

Talking treatments

Talking treatments involve speaking about your feelings with a trained professional, such as a counsellor or psychotherapist. This could help you understand why you're experiencing suicidal feelings, and think about ways you can help yourself cope with and resolve them.

There may be a long waiting list in your area to access talking treatments on the NHS, but you may be able to access them through charities, your workplace or university, or privately at a reduced rate.

See our pages on talking treatments for more information about different types of treatment, and how you can access them through the NHS and privately.


Although there isn't a specific drug licensed to treat suicidal feelings, your doctor might prescribe you psychiatric medication to help you cope with your symptoms, or to treat a mental health problem, which might be causing your suicidal feelings. These might include:

Can medication make me feel worse?

Although psychiatric medication may be prescribed to help treat a mental health problem that is causing suicidal feelings, you might find they actually make these feelings worse for a bit. However, this should usually pass after a couple of weeks.

Research has found that some SSRI antidepressants can cause or worsen suicidal feelings.

It's about finding what works best for you. See our pages on what you need to know before taking psychiatric medication for more information.

Crisis services

A crisis service is any service that is available at short notice to help you resolve a mental health crisis, or to support you while it is happening:

  • Crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) teams who can support you at your home during a mental health crisis. See our page on crisis teams for more information.
  • Community mental health teams (CMHT) who can support you at home when you are not in crisis.
  • Crisis houses offer a sanctuary where you can go to reflect and talk to others when you are experiencing suicidal feelings. Take a look at our page on crisis houses for more information and to find out what is available to you locally.
  • Local support services which may offer day services, drop-in sessions, counselling or issue-specific support. Many local branches of the Samaritans offer walk in face-to-face support. See our page on day services for more information about how to find and access local support services.

Telephone support

Telephone services can be a good way of getting information or support when you need it. Many are available out-of-hours and provide a confidential, judgement-free service.

Talking to someone on the telephone can also be helpful if you are finding it difficult to open up to the people you know, or speak to someone face-to-face.

See our page on telephone support for a detailed list of organisations you can contact.

"I've saved the Samaritans number so I know there is always a place to talk."

Peer support

Peer support brings together people who’ve had similar experiences to support each other. You can share your thoughts and tips for coping with others who understand what you are going through. For more information, and to find peer support services near you, take a look at our pages on peer support or contact your local Mind.

Peer support is also available online. You might prefer this if you don't feel like you can talk to people on the telephone or face to face.

  • Big White Wall offers support from trained professionals as well as peer support from other people experiencing mental health problems. For many areas across the UK the site is free to access, although in some cases you might need a referral from your GP to use the service.
  • Mind runs Elefriends, a supportive online community.

See our pages on online support for more information.

This information was published in June 2016. We will revise it in 2019.

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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