It is common for people experiencing emotional distress to have thoughts of harming themselves or that they would be better off dead. If you are feeling concerned about your safety, it’s important that you tell someone – you don’t need to struggle alone. Please do speak with your VitaMinds practitioner, course facilitator or make an appointment with your GP.
During your assessment and treatment with our service you will be asked regularly about your safety and also be asked to complete a questionnaire (PHQ9) prior to each appointment. If you have scored 1 or more on question 9 of the questionnaire, this may indicate that you need more support.
We have a duty of care to keep people safe. This is a duty we share with patients and GPs. To share this duty, it is important that we keep GPs updated. Therefore, we inform GPs where we have concerns about a patient’s safety.
You are not a bad person, weak, or flawed because you feel suicidal, experience suicidal thoughts or thoughts of being better off dead. It doesn’t even mean that you really want to die – it only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now.
Are feelings of suicide common?
Most people at some point in their lives will have a suicidal thought but for the majority this will be a fleeting or at least short-lived experience.
When do suicidal thoughts become problematic?
Thoughts of suicide should always be taken seriously but if these thoughts are persistent, occur frequently, are strong and for the individual there appears to be no alternative, then immediate action should be taken to get support and help.
You have made the first step by telling your doctor or a health professional. They will have discussed treatments and options with you. If you have been given antidepressants, remember that they take two or three weeks to start working, and then work gradually.
Please use any self-help information your practitioner has provided you with
Try and tell your friends and family, who will support you by spending time with you. Talking to a family member or a friend or a colleague can bring huge relief
Try to avoid long periods of time on your own, especially if you just sit and dwell on things
Plan your day and set small, easy to achieve tasks. This will keep you occupied and give a sense of achievement
You must try and eat, at best little and often, and try to drink up to two litres of water each day
Avoid alcohol and non-prescription drugs
Get someone to help you clear out old medicines and anything harmful when you find yourself dwelling on this
Try to distract yourself by phoning a friend, going out, reading a magazine, etc
Exercise can make you feel better, at least 30 mins a day
Just try and be kind to yourself. It will pass, don’t be afraid of how you feel, try and be brave and keep safe