Suicide can be a really challenging topic to talk about. Various reasons may hold us back from being honest about our thoughts of suicide. We might not want to upset or worry our loved ones; we might be afraid of what happens next; we might just not know how to start the conversation. However, carrying around suicidal thoughts alone is a heavy burden to bear.

What we know is that sharing thoughts of suicide with someone can be a steppingstone to receiving the appropriate support needed to help manage them, and a chance to explore alternative options to dying.

How do I find the right words?

It’s natural to feel worried about what to say; we may get ourselves worked up and struggle to get our words out. Some people find it helpful to write down their feelings to try to make sense of them. You might want to use these as notes to refer to, or you may just feel more comfortable communicating in a written form and sending or giving this to someone you trust.

Think about who you can reach out to and what you need that person to understand.

You deserve to be given the space and time to talk. Consider reaching out to someone you trust, asking them when they are free to chat – make sure you do this at a time and place which feels safe and achievable for both of you.

How about:

“Hi, I was wondering when you are free for a chat? I am really struggling right now.”

“I just need to talk. I don’t need you to fix it, I would just like you to hear me out for the moment.”

Is there something that you can do together?

Sometimes having a direct conversation can feel really overwhelming. At HOPELINE247, we hear from some callers that it can help to have a distraction or be in a position where it makes it easier to avoid making direct eye-contact. This could be going on a drive together, watching a programme, taking a walk or any other kind of activity you might enjoy together.


Sometimes we can’t make sense of our thoughts until we’ve spoken them aloud. When speaking with one our advisers, this may help you reflect on what it is you might need your loved ones and the people around you in your life to understand. Equally, you can direct the people supporting you to our helpline too, where we can support them to support you.

Don’t overthink it!

It’s a lot easier said than done. However, we know that it can feel like a huge relief to offload to someone. We know from concerned others who contact HOPELINE247 that the people in your life would much rather know about your thoughts of suicide and have the chance to support you to stay safe and access the support to manage them, than you to carry them around alone.


If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide and need a safe non-judgmental space to talk. PAPYRUS is here for you. Call HOPELINE247 for free, confidential advice and support on 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email from 9am to midnight every day of the year.
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