Having thoughts of wanting to end your life can be really frightening. Wanting it all to end can sometimes seem like the only way to deal with how you’re feeling but there is always help available.

It’s important to know that lots of other people have had thoughts like this, approximately 20% of New Zealanders experience suicidal thoughts at any one time but there are ways to help make things better. 

Why do I feel this way?

Suicidal thoughts can be linked to things that have happened before, things that are happening now as well as the amount of stress in your life. For some people they might not even know why they’re having these thoughts and that can make things even more confusing.

Some people find these thoughts can get stronger when they have more stress in their lives, such as relationship breakups, loss of a loved one, when they’re injured or when they’re away from their families. If you’re feeling this way and especially if these thoughts are getting stronger then you need to get help right now.


Finding the right support for you

It’s natural to want to get rid of these feelings or change the situation you’re in. Sometimes you might feel so distressed it can feel like there’s no other option. You might feel like you have no support, no one cares and there’s nothing you can do to change anything.

When you find yourself in a dark place and you don’t think you can make it out, or even that it is worth making it out, talking to someone whether a friend or a professional is the single biggest thing you can do to help. 

What does it look like?

Having thoughts of suicide or feeling suicidal can be different for each individual. Below are some of the common signs people talk about. It is really important to make sure you seek help if you are experiencing any of these things.


  • Like there is no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling as though you are a burden to others
  • Having thoughts of wanting to die
  • Feeling as though nothing will help


  • Making plans of how you would take your life
  • Talking about wanting to take your own life
  • Harming yourself
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Giving away possessions

Strategies & Tips

When you’re feeling unsafe or at risk of hurting yourself it’s important to focus on simple tasks that you can do to help keep yourself safe. The strategies below can be helpful but if you are worried about hurting yourself then seeking help is the single best thing you can do.

Talk To Someone You Trust

If you’re worried about hurting yourself, talk to someone you trust about what is going on for you or contact one of these helplines. If you live alone, ask if a family member or friend can stay with you.  

Make A Safety Plan

Having a written plan for times when you feel unsafe can be really helpful. These should be simple, clear steps you can follow as well as emergency numbers you can contact if you feel at risk of hurting yourself.

Talk To A Professional

Feeling suicidal is often accompanied by, or linked to a range of other emotions. Talking to a professional can help you work through how you’re feeling and get on the road to feeling better. Click here to see who you can talk to.

Create A Distraction Box

Fill it with things that help comfort you and remind you of things you enjoy e.g. photos, music, a favourite book or movie.

Remind Yourself

It can be helpful to remind yourself of things that have helped you in the past e.g. reaching out to a friend, not being alone, speaking to a professional, following a safety plan.

Keep Yourself Safe

If you’re feeling at risk of hurting yourself it’s important to talk to someone straight away and move to an environment where you feel safe. 

Getting help

It is really important to know that there is help available for you if you are having thoughts of wanting to end your life. It can be really hard to see a way through by yourself and it can be much more difficult if you try and do it alone. 

But it doesn’t need to be that way. There are people who are willing and able to help you. Although it can be tough, it’s very important to tell someone you trust that you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and to ask them for help. 

If your request for help isn’t heard, ask again, or find someone else who will listen.

Seek help as soon as possible if you, or anyone you know is talking about/feeling any of the following:

  • See no reason for living, hopelessness
  • Feel like there’s no way out
  • Acting strangely, like giving away personal items or ‘tying up loose ends’
  • Withdrawing from whānau, family, community
  • Making plans of how you would end your life
  • Acting impulsively or doing risky things 
  • Find yourself searching for ways to end your life on the internet
  • Experiencing sudden mood changes

If you are feeling at risk of harm to yourself or you know of someone who is, then you need to seek help immediately. Phone 111 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Click here for a list of other emergency contacts.