Mental Health

Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

If you are considering suicide:

  • Wait: Having suicidal thoughts is never a permanent condition — it usually means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. Many of us have had suicidal thoughts.
  • Promise not to do take action now — e.g., promise to wait 24 hours, or a week
  • Put distance between your suicidal thoughts & any suicidal action
  • Know that you are not alone: there are many people who care deeply about you and want to help you… don’t go it alone
  • Know that your emotions are constantly changing — you WILL feel better
  • Know that your absence would create grief & anguish in the lives of loved ones & friends
  • Know that there are many things that you can still accomplish
  • Know that there are sights, sounds & experiences in life that will delight & lift you
  • Know that your ability to have pleasurable emotions is the same as your ability to have distressing emotions
  • Don’t keep suicidal thoughts to yourself—e.g., share them (preferably face-to-face) with a family member, friend, therapist, counselor, teacher, coach, member of the clergy
    • If the first people you reach out to don’t seem to understand, talk to others – tell them exactly what you are telling yourself including the specifics of any suicide plans
    • If it’s too difficult to talk about, write down your thoughts and give to a person you trust
  • Call a help line, e.g.:
  • Put into your phone appropriate phone numbers to call for assistance when needed
  • Avoid being alone
  • Reach out to people who are supportive
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol – they can make suicidal thoughts stronger
  • Make your home, etc. safe – get rid of things you could use to hurt yourself, e.g., pills, knives, razors, firearms
  • Plan ahead for having suicidal thoughts in the future, e.g., people to call
  • Remember your personal goals, e.g., traveling somewhere, owning a pet, learning a new hobby or skill
  • Build a support network – surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, and, with positive influences
  • Find a therapist and/or support group, e.g.:
  • Ask about appropriate medications
  • Ask about eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy

If you know or see someone who you think might be considering suicide:

  • Don’t leave the person alone
  • Show that you care, through your words and actions
  • Ask if they are considering hurting themselves
    • It’s widely accepted that this will not put the idea into their head, or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide
  • When feasible, call (or ask someone to call) for help, e.g., 9-1-1
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance
  • Remove any objects that they could use to hurt themselves
  • Call a help line, e.g. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and follow their guidance
  • Encourage them to get professional help

If danger for self-harm seems imminent:

  • Call 9-1-1.

If you are under stress:

Also see the “If you are considering suicide” checklist above.

  • Take deep some breaths
  • Remember your goals. Prioritize them. Plan small steps towards your goals.
  • Concentrate on doing the things that you feel have to be done
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take care of yourself
  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Make time for things you enjoy
  • Make a written daily schedule for yourself and try to stick to it
  • Try to keep a regular routine
  • Remember that you don’t have to do everything perfectly
  • Make a list of the things you feel need to be done, then:
    • Prioritize the list
    • Delegate as many items as feasible to others
    • Concentrate on doing the things that you feel have to be done
    • Take action, even if small steps, towards completing things you feel you have to do
  • Try to avoid getting frustrated by little things
  • Consider massage therapy


Thanks for reading!