Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your life.

If you are reading this because you are feeling suicidal, seek help immediately.

Many people who have felt suicidal at some point say they were so overwhelmed by negative feelings that they saw no option other than suicide.

However, with the right treatment and support, the same people were able to carry on with their life and the negative feelings passed.

Getting help if you feel suicidal

If you are feeling suicidal, you can:

  • call the Samaritans support service on 08457 90 90 90
  • go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and tell the staff how you are feeling
  • contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647
  • speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust
  • make an urgent appointment to see your GP

For more information and advice, see Suicide - getting help.

Worried someone else is suicidal

If you are worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, you can:

  • recommend that they contact one or more of the organisations above
  • encourage them in a non-judgemental way to talk about how they are feeling

If the person has previously been diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as depression, you can speak to a member of their care team for help and advice.

See Suicide - warning signs and Suicide - helping others for more information about the warning signs of suicide and advice about what to do.

Why do some people take their own life?

There is no single reason why someone may try to take their own life, but certain factors or problems may make suicide more likely. See Suicide - causes for more information.

A person may be more likely to become suicidal if they have a mental health condition, such as:

Other factors that can increase the chances of a person attempting to end their life include:

How common is suicide?

Suicide is a leading cause of death, particularly in young people, both in England and worldwide. During 2008, there were 4,282 suicides in England. Suicide rates are three times higher in men than in women.


Information from NHS Choices

Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health Foundation
The Royal College Of Psychiatrists