If life is in danger
call 000

I tried to end my life

Have you recently tried to take your own life? Do you need assistance to identify what help is available? There is compassionate support for yourself, your family and friends.

"I tried to end my life"

Have you recently tried to take your own life? How are you feeling? Following a suicide attempt you may be feeling exhausted. Perhaps even confused. Dealing with the reactions from others, the experience with emergency services and the event itself may leave you feeling overwhelmed. But you are not on your own. You may feel disappointed, angry, or relieved. Your feelings may be all-consuming at the moment. It’s OK; they will subside and you will be able to return to your normal life. There is professional help available, such as psychological counselling. Sometimes medication may help you get back on your feet.

There are a range of strategies that might help you at this time:

  • Make a suicide safety plan. Include things such as reasons for living and helpful activities. List your triggers, people you can talk to, professionals that can help you, emergency contact details. If it helps, ask your family or a trusted friend to help you. Your GP can help you with a mental health care plan. For more info on safety planning visit https:// www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport/ beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning
  • identify coping strategies that work for you. For example, you may seek to manage thoughts and feelings by distancing yourself. In order to allow you to seek help, commit to giving yourself time by saying something such as “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything to myself.”
  • Remove items that you could use to hurt yourself by asking a trusted friend to look after them.
  • Engage in pleasurable activities, such as taking a bath, listening to your favourite music, watching a movie or catching up with a trusted friend. These activities can help improve your mood and distract you from negative intrusive thoughts.
  • Spend time with others, friends, family, even being in a public space can help to prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs — as these can increase risk taking and impulsive behaviours. Significantly, substance use has an impact on your physical body and may increase feelings of depression.
  • Keep a diary. Recording your thoughts and feelings helps to identify negative thinking styles, as well as recording progress.
  • Keep a list of support services such as Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call-Back Service (1300 659 467), your psychologist, your GP or emergency services. Always call 000 in an emergency.
  • Identify your triggers. If you are able to identify your triggers then you may be able to stay safe from suicidal thoughts. Triggers can include stressful situations, certain people, places or events or an anniversary of a painful event.
  • Calm down by using strategies such as breathing exercises, progressive muscle relation or meditation. There are many apps available on your smart phone, or videos to watch on YouTube or you could borrow a CD from the library.

For Crisis support contact Lifeline: 13 11 14 (available 24/7) or via chat or text (available 24/7) to speak with a Crisis Supporter

What keeps you going? What are your reasons to continue living? Is it your children, your pet, your family? Whatever the reason, it may be beneficial to reflect on these and maybe even record them in a diary, on a phone, so you can remind yourself when you are at your lowest. Make a quick go to list, picture collage or voice message on your phone so you can gain quick access.
Self-care following a suicide attempt is important. Routines are an important part of recovery and may be helpful to assist you in putting ‘one foot in front of the other’. Starting with nutrition, hydration, sleep and exercise will assist to improve your mood.

Are you still feeling suicidal? It can be very difficult to know what to do and how to cope, but help is available.

  • Contact Lifeline: 13 11 14 (available 24/7) or via chat or text (available 24/7) to speak with a Crisis Supporter
  • Use available resources — smartphone apps, online support groups
  • Talk to someone you trust — you don’t have to go through this alone. Tell them how you feel, and that you are thinking of suicide. Ask them to help you keep safe.
  • Get help and support to stay alive — contact a helpline, your GP, a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist, a hospital emergency department, minister, teacher or anyone you trust to keep you safe.

If your life is in danger — call 000.

To search for local services and centres in your area visit the Lifeline Service Seeker Directory

Talk to someone and eventually the light will shine

Steve