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Feeling suicidal

Suicidal thinking can happen to any of us.

But when you’re suicidal, you’re not thinking clearly.

You might be feeling overwhelmed, in pain or in complete despair. You might feel like you’ve run out of options.

Many, many people have been in this place before.

Don’t act on your feelings.

There is a way back to feeling normal again and there are people who want to help you get there.

You can get through this, and you won’t be on your own.

What to do right now

Need immediate help?

Australia: call Lifeline 13 11 14 or emergency services on triple zero (000)

New Zealand: call Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or emergency services on 111.


Take some deep breaths.

Just because you’re thinking about suicide doesn’t mean you have to act on it.

Give yourself time, at least a few hours, and try to think clearly. These thoughts will pass.

Keep physically safe

If you are near any items that you are thinking about using to hurt yourself, put them away and out of reach.

If you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, stop. It will only make you feel more out of control.

If you have overdosed or hurt yourself, call triple zero (000) in Australia or triple one (111) in New Zealand straight away.

You can also visit a hospital emergency department if you need to.

Talk to someone

The best way we have to cope with overwhelming thoughts is to share them with another person. Talk to someone. This will give you some perspective on what you’re feeling right now.

If you don’t have someone you can think of to call, these telephone lines are answered by people who care and are ready to listen.

Telephone lines – Australia

13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 65 94 67

1300 78 99 78

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800

Beyond Blue
1300 22 4636

SANE Helpline
1800 18 7263

Telephone lines – New Zealand

Lifeline NZ
0800 543 354

NZ Suicide Crisis Helpline
0508 82 88 65
(0508 TAUTOKO) 

Depression Helpline
0800 111 757

0800 611 116

0800 376 633

What’s Up (under-18)
0800 942 8787

If you can’t get through on the first try, choose another helpline from the list or try calling back straight away.

If you can’t bring yourself to pick up the phone right now, click straight through to chat online.

Online chat – Australia

Suicide Call Back Service online chat
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Beyond Blue web chat

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Lifeline web chat

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Online and text chat – New Zealand

The Lowdown
Free text to 5626

Get professional help

Even if your suicidal thoughts have passed, you might still feel confused, guilty, anxious or depressed.

Get professional help to talk through what’s been going on. Suicidal thoughts can come back.

Your GP (family doctor) can help. They may refer you to see a psychiatrist or psychologist if you need it. If your GP thinks you are at high risk of suicide they might suggest you go to a hospital emergency department.

First steps to get help

Make a safety plan

A safety plan is a list of activities, people and things you can turn to when you’re feeling suicidal. It provides you with a routine and set of steps to take that suit you best.

It might include: your warning signs, telephone numbers of people you can call, and a list of activities that make you feel calm.

Having a safety plan ready can make you feel prepared for when suicidal thoughts come back.

Usually you would make a plan with help from a health professional.

These links have templates and information on how to create your own safety plan

Stories from survivors

Read stories from all sorts of people who have experienced suicidal thinking or a suicide attempt and recovered.

Watch a video talk from someone who has been through this and come out the other side.


  • You can get through this, and you won’t be on your own.
  • Pause, then talk to someone.
  • Get professional help to keep you safe.
  • Make a safety plan so you know what to do if you start thinking of suicide again.
Page last reviewed Jan 2024 | C1010V1

This is a general guide only, and does not replace individual medical advice. Please speak to your doctor for advice about your situation. The RANZCP is not liable for any consequences arising from relying on this information. Subject matter experts, people with lived experience of mental illness and carers all contributed to this fact sheet.