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Suicide and self-harm

Suicidal Thoughts

Sometimes life can become very painful and problems can seem overwhelming. At some point many people may think about suicide. Here are some tips to help you manage thoughts of suicide:
Postpone any decision

Keep a list of things you can do to distract yourself and use it when you start to think about suicide (e.g. writing, watching a movie, exercising) Give yourself time to get the support you need

Avoid drugs and alcohol

Alcohol and other drugs are depressants that can make you feel worse. They don’t help to solve your problems and they can make you do things you wouldn’t normally do

Write down your feelings

Writing down your feelings or keeping a journal, can be a great way to understand your feelings and thoughts

Write a safety plan

Come up with a plan you can put into action anytime – such as organising that you will ring a friend or family member when you feel overwhelmed or upset. Beyond Now is a great free app to create a safety plan

Set small goals

Try to set goals that are achievable for you, even if it’s on a day-by-day or hour-by-hour basis

Talk to someone

Reach out to your friends. If you’re having trouble talking to people you know, phone a telephone counselling helpline (e.g. Kids Help Line, Lifeline or SuicideLine)

Avoid being alone

Have someone stay with you until your thoughts of suicide decrease

Stay healthy

Exercise and eating well can help you to feel better and manage difficult things in your life. Start by doing something small a couple of times a week

Self-Harm Behaviour

Self-harm is any behaviour that involves the deliberate causing of pain or injury to oneself. Self-harm is usually a response to distress, whether it be from mental illness, trauma or psychological pain. Some people find that the physical pain helps provide temporary relief from the emotional pain. It can become a compulsive and dangerous activity, and requires careful professional help.

Self-harm can include cutting, burning or hitting oneself, binge-eating or starvation, or repeatedly putting oneself in dangerous situations. It can also involve abuse of drugs or alcohol, including overdosing on prescription medications. Self-harming is often done in secret and is most common in young people aged 11–25 years, where it is used as a way of coping, particularly where they have not learned or cannot use more helpful coping strategies

Warning Signs

Suicide Warning Signs

Warning signs are the earliest hint that you or someone else may be at risk of suicide.
It’s important to seek help if you or someone you know:

  • Feels trapped and feels like there is no way out
  • Feels worthless or hopeless and that life is not worth living

  • Starts talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • Withdraws from friends, family and the community
  • Increases alcohol or drug use
  • Gives away personal possessions does dangerous/life-threatening things


People who self-harm may be secretive or feel ashamed about their behaviour, but you can help by:

  • Encouraging the person to see a doctor or other health professional
  • Suggesting options for getting help and letting the person decide their own course of treatment
  • Asking the person if they have considered suicide — so that appropriate and immediate help can be sought
  • Remembering that you can only do your best to encourage someone to get help. You cannot always stop someone from self- harming and it is not your responsibility when they do.

Where to go for help

Warning signs are the earliest hint that you or someone else may be at risk of suicide.
It’s important to seek help if you or someone you know:
Go to your local Doctor
Go to your local hospital emergency department
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Lifeline: 13 11 14 (available 24/7)
Suicide Line: 1300 651 251
Grief Line: 9935 7400
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
SANE Helpline:
Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636
Mensline: 1300 78 99 7

How we can help

Self-harm can be dangerous and scary, but help is available. Having supportive people around you is always important. Surround yourself with people that you trust, who will listen to you without judgement and who you enjoy being with.

A counsellor, psychologist or GP can help you to work out what is triggering your self-harm and begin to work with you on managing your difficult thoughts and feelings

Contact us to make an appointment to speak with someone today.