Are you struggling?

When you are struggling it is important to get the help you need, below are some questions which may provide some guidance on where to look and who to turn to. 

Q1. Are you thinking about taking your own life?

Feeling hopeless and helpless are common feelings associated with feeling suicidal. Your thoughts may well seem overwhelming. It's important to take each moment as it comes. If you feel you are in immediate danger and can't keep yourself safe from harm or you feel the impulse to act on your feelings very strongly call the emergency services on 999. If the feelings are less intense but you are still feeling like life isn't worth living get an appointment with your GP. It may be useful to tell someone you trust how you are feeling. Then create a plan on how you are going to keep yourself safe until you get more specialised support. Often friends and family members want to help but we also understand they can be part of the problem. You don't have to face these feelings alone support is available. Just reach out and speak to somebody. Never underestimate the power of a conversation!

What to do

  • Try and keep yourself safe from harm
  • If you are in immediate danger call 999 
  • Speak to someone you trust and tell them how you are feeling 
  • Get an appointment with your GP as soon as possible

Q2. Do you feel helpless, worthless or hopeless?

Feeling helpless, worthless or hopeless are common feelings associated with feeling suicidal. Often these thoughts can be overwhelming and prevent you from feeling anything else. Sharing or expressing these feelings can be helpful. Talking to someone you trust may reduce how intense or numbing those feelings are. Just as those feelings may have crept up on you they may change fairly quickly. If these feelings last for more than 24 hours contact your GP and arrange an appointment. 

If you feel you are in immediate danger and can't keep yourself safe from harm or you feel the impulse to act on your feelings very strongly call the emergency services on 999.

 You don't have to face these feelings alone, support is available. Just reach out and speak to somebody. Never underestimate the power of a conversation!

 

What to do

  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Get a GP appointment if the feelings last more than 24 hours 
  • If you're in immediate danger call 999

Q3. Are you struggling with issues around sleeping or eating and drinking?

Often changes in your sleeping patterns or your eating and drinking habits are signs you may be struggling. We may all experience times where we are unable to sleep or may feel the need to sleep excessively. These and changes to your eating and drinking habits may be a sign that there is an underlying issue. Try and keep a diary of your sleeping pattern as well as what you are eating/ drinking and what activities you are taking part in. If you don't see improvement after a few days or it is starting to impact on your ability to undertake daily tasks it's important to get help. Initially that may be a conversation with someone you trust. Make contact with your GP as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms.

What to do

  • Keep a diary or notes of your habits 
  • Talk to someone you trust 
  • Make an appointment with your GP

Q4. Are you using alcohol, drugs or other medication to numb how you are feeling?

It is quite common for people to turn to alcohol, drugs, or take prescribed medication in order to manage their feelings and thoughts. If the medication has not been described by your GP for that purpose it is known as self medicating. These behaviours in the long term will have a negative impact on the way you are thinking and feeling. Although it may feel like a short term relief from what you are experiencing right now. The earlier you can share this with someone and get support the easier it will be to find other ways to cope. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. If you want someone confidential to speak to call Samaritans Papyrus or CALM.

What to do

  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Make an appointment with your GP
  • There are various services available for those struggling with substance misuse

Trying to maintain a sense of wellbeing is important. What  that really means is your ability to cope with your thoughts and feelings as they arise. Below are five simple steps to manage your own feelings:

1: Connect - Spend time with others, whether that's family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, sometimes it can be difficult to connect with others look around for volunteering opportunity and local events in your area.

2: Be Active - Often we think this means going for a run, or joining an exercise class, for some that may be the case. Even just a short walk everyday or a cycle ride, taking time out of your day for some form of exercise will improve your mental health

3: Give - Giving your time and energy to help somebody can help. Why not volunteer at a local project, take time to visit an elderly neigbour or relative. Our time is often a greater gift than money can be.

4:  Keep Learning - Take up a new hobby, start an evening class or join an online course. Learning new skills and gaining knowledge are proven to help your emotional health. Maybe even try something out of your comfort zone, who knows you may surprise yourself.

5: Take Notice - Life is often very busy and distracting so much so we don't always remember to take notice. Look away from your screens look out of the window, look at the sky, watch how the milk swirls in your tea. Often these little things can alter how we see things and hopefully for the better.