Suicidal ideation

Suicidal ideation, or suicidal thoughts, is a serious mental health concern that can have a profound impact on an individual’s well-being.


It refers to a range of contemplations, wishes, and preoccupations with death and suicide. It can involve thinking that one would be better off dead, formulating elaborate plans, or considering self-harm.


There are two types of suicidal ideation: passive, which involves thoughts of death without a specific plan, and active, which includes both thoughts and intentions to complete suicide, along with plans or methods to carry it out.

Impact on Life

Suicidal ideation can significantly impact mental health, leading to feelings of hopelessness, despair, and emotional pain. Individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts may struggle with a sense of purpose and may feel overwhelmed by their circumstances.


These thoughts can be a symptom of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.


It is crucial to take all instances of suicidal ideation seriously and seek help to address the root causes and manage these thoughts effectively.


It’s important to seek immediate help if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation. Opening up about these thoughts and feelings is the first step toward getting the help and support needed to address them.


A counsellor or therapist can offer guidance in exploring ways to share your thoughts with loved ones, building new skills to cope with suicidal thoughts, and talking through possible solutions for overwhelming or distressing life challenges.


Other treatment options include hospitalization, outpatient treatment, and medication, depending on the individual’s needs.


If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help immediately.  Call your GP or call NHS 111 for out-of-hours help and there are various online and community resources available for support.


    • Samaritans offer a support service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call them free on 116 123. You can also email

    • CALM has a helpline  0800 58 58 58 (5 pm to midnight) and webchat for anyone who’s having a tough time and needs to talk.

    • Papyrus supports people under 35 who have thoughts of suicide and others who are concerned about them. You can call their HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email They’re open every day from 9 am to midnight.

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