It can be a great relief to tell someone about your thoughts of suicide.

Telling someone you are thinking about suicide can feel hard. You might be feeling overwhelmed and in pain, which can make it harder to find the words to explain how you are feeling. People often feel relief when they open up to someone.

Here are some suggestions to help you start the conversation.

  • "I’m not sure how to say this… / This isn’t easy for me to explain…"

    Let the person know this is hard for you

  • "I’ve been thinking about suicide/dying/ending my life/seriously harming myself"

    Don’t be afraid to name your thoughts of suicide. It’s OK and important to talk about suicide.

  • "I have thoughts of suicide every day/many times a day"

    Talk about how frequent your thoughts are.

  • "I can’t sleep/I feel angry all the time/I feel hopeless"

    Try to describe some of your other moods and feelings if you can.

  • "I would like to get help. Can you help me find it?"

    Tell the person what you need from them in that moment. You deserve help and it’s OK to let someone know what you need. You can also show the person the pages on this website that will tell them more about how to support someone in crisis.

How to prepare for a conversation

  1. Write down what you want to say. Write things down in a notebook or on notecards and bring them with you when you talk to someone.
  2. Use resources to help explain. If there is a book, a poem, or a clip from a movie or TV show that describes what you are going through, use it to explain how you are feeling. Try taking it to the other person and saying, “this is me”.
  3. Remember there are different ways you can reach out. Start with a text or email if talking on the phone or face-to-face feels too difficult.

Who should I speak to?

Remember you can reach out to 9-8-8 any time. If there is someone you feel safe with, someone you trust, you could also reach out to them. It might be a friend, a loved one, a teacher, mentor, or an elder. Reach out to them in a way that feels easiest to you, whether it’s through text, online, or in-person.

If you can’t get hold of the person you are trying to reach, you didn’t feel like you got what you needed from talking to them, or you would rather not talk to anyone you know, please call or text 9-8-8. We are here for you and we are ready to listen.