Student Wellbeing Services
Counselling and Mental Health Service
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You may be consulting this page because you are considering suicide or because you are worrying about a friend who seems to be considering suicide.
Pain and desperation
Thoughts about suicide can reflect the intense pain and sense of desperation that depression can bring. Having the thoughts can also in itself bring much pain and anguish.
However, it is important to be aware that thoughts about suicide can be quite common - one way in which the mind tests out feelings. Having suicidal thoughts does not mean you are doomed to act on them!
Simply having suicidal thoughts does not mean you will act on them. However, the habit of repeatedly thinking about suicide is a risky one. Repetition brings a sense of falsely comforting familiarity. It dulls the instinctive recoil from danger.
Make a commitment to yourself
Challenge the self-bullying habit and make a commitment to taking care of yourself as best you possibly can for the moment.
Reduce the risks
Protect yourself from impulsively acting on your thoughts by putting dangerous objects out of immediate reach. Preferably give pills, weapons etc to someone else for safe-keeping, but even putting them in a locked or inaccessible place makes it a little harder to act impulsively.
Tell someone how you're feeling
Tell someone else how you are feeling and get appropriate help. You may need to challenge yourself about what's stopping you getting help. Be prepared for non-professionals to be shocked by what you tell them, and don't expect a "perfect" response - it is always better to make human contact than to stay isolated and alone with your thoughts.
Give yourself small goals
Each evening set yourself small tasks or goals for the next day. It can be something as simple as watching a certain TV programme. Or set yourself another task as soon as you have completed one. Just knowing you can still do things you set for yourself despite feeling low can help combat depression.
Minimise time spent alone
Depression and suicidal thinking thrive in isolation. Try to minimise time spent alone in your room - take work to the library, ask friends to be with you at vulnerable times, make plans ahead for weekends and other lonelier times, generally work on building your support networks.
The Counselling Service advises most strongly that anyone contemplating suicide seek assistance at the earliest possible time. We would never want to minimise the problems that lead individuals to contemplate ending their lives - often they are problems of great severity which carry with them deep feelings of shame, loneliness and hopelessness. However, most research and anecdotal experience of carers suggest that the despairing thought which make a person feel that the only way to resolve the problem is by suicide is normally a misguided one. This Service has worked with many students while they are actively contemplating suicide or who have done so in the past - almost invariably when the crisis is past they express relief that they have not acted on their suicidal
PAPYRUS - Prevention of Young Suicide www.papyrus-uk.org/
Samaritans - www.samaritans.org/
Tel: 01524 61666 - Lancaster
Befrienders - Work worldwide to provide emotional support, and reduce suicide.