Thoughts and feelings of ending your life can be really scary. It’s hard knowing what to do and how to cope, but help is available.

Lots of others like you have had these thoughts. And most of them have found a way through. 
Having suicidal thoughts can be related to how you’re feeling, things that have happened before, current situations, or how you’re dealing with life. Sometimes you might not even know why you’re having these thoughts, which could be even more confusing.

It’s natural – you want to get rid of those bad feelings or change the situation you’re in. But sometimes you’re feeling so distressed it can feel like there’s no other option. You might feel like you have no support, no one cares, you’re worthless, and there’s nothing you can do to change anything. Or you might be blaming yourself for things that have happened in the past, and feel like it might be easier for others if you weren’t around.

It’s worse after really stressful events like relationship breakups, traumatic life events, feelings of loneliness and separation from friends/whānau, the death of someone close, losing a job, or failing at school. The problems you’re facing can feel overwhelming, and it’s like you can’t see any other way out. However, most people having these thoughts agree that if their situation was better, they wouldn’t feel like ending their life.

Lots of people have suicidal thoughts and have worked through them eventually, and you can too – bad times pass and problems are solved. Suicidal behaviour refers to thoughts, threats and actions about wanting to take your own life.

This includes:

  • Thoughts of wanting to die
  • Talking about wanting to take your own life
  • Making plans to take your own life
  • Carrying out actions to take your own life (self-harm or attempting suicide).

Having depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and alcohol and drug problems can interfere with how you see yourself and the world around you. People who are struggling with these problems are more likely to think about suicide.

Ask for help, because it can be really hard to see a way through by yourself. And it’s much worse if you feel alone. But it doesn’t need to be that way. There are people who are willing, able and available to help you.Although it can be tough, it’s very important to tell someone you trust that you are having suicidal thoughts and to ask them for help. If your request for help isn’t heard, ask again, or try to find someone else who will listen.

Seek help as soon as possible if you are:

  • Giving up hope 
  • See no reason for living 
  • Worrying about things, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feel like there’s no way out
  • Withdrawing from whānau, family, community
  • Feeling uncontrolled rage, 
  • Acting impulsively or doing risky things 
  • Experiencing sudden mood changes.


If this is an emergency, and you feel you or someone else is at risk of harm, phone 111 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department, or phone your local DHB mental health crisis team - click here for phone numbers.
If you are feeling depressed, hopeless and isolated or talking about suicide, you can also:

  • Phone Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or 09 522 2999
  • Phone the Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865(0508 TAUTOKO) 
  • Click here for more options and phone numbers for who you could talk to.

If the situation is serious but not an emergency, you could talk to your doctor, or a mental health professional (like a psychologist or psychiatrist). Find your nearest one.

When it comes to finding someone to talk to there are a lot of options. And if you’re worried about a friend we have information on ways to help.

This resource is developed with whānau in mind. It is aimed at helping whānau and friends to support someone who is in crisis or distress. There’s also this booklet put together to support Pasifika: Preventing Suicide for Pasifika - top 5 tactics.