Sometimes people come to our website because they are looking for personal help.
If someone asked you right now if you are having thoughts of suicide, what would your honest answer be?
If your answer is ‘yes’, this is undoubtedly a very difficult time for you. You don’t need to go through this alone. Help is available.
It is not uncommon for men who have experienced child sexual abuse or sexual assault to have to deal with suicidal thoughts. An experience of child sexual abuse or sexual assault can have men feeling distressed and overwhelmed both at the time and at stressful times in the future. If suicidal thoughts are unchallenged they can convince a man that because he is doing it tough now it will always be like this. If there is time to talk about suicidal thoughts they can provide a clue to what a man holds dear, about certain connections he values and the dreams and aspirations he has for life. In order for such conversation to occur it is first important to make sure you are safe now.
If you think you might harm yourself call for help immediately
- Reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. Tell them honestly how you feel, including your thoughts of suicide.
- Call 000 (police, ambulance, fire) or
- Call Lifeline 13 11 14 or
- Go, or have someone take you to your local hospital emergency department.
It is important to understand suicidal thoughts
I felt like shit, like there was no way out. It wasn’t like my first thought but it was there in the background.
Remember that thoughts about suicide are just that – thoughts. You don’t need to act on them. They won’t last for ever, and often they pass very quickly. Many people who have had serious thoughts of suicide have said that they felt completely different only hours later. It is common to feel overwhelmed and distressed during difficult times or when it seems that things will never improve.
Things you can do to keep yourself safe
- Seek help early. Talk to a family member or friend, see your local doctor, or ring a telephone counselling service.
- Postpone any decision to end your life. Many people find that if they postpone big decisions for just 24 hours, things improve, they feel better able to cope and they find the support they need.
- Talk to someone. Find someone you can trust to talk to: family, friends, a colleague, teacher or minister. 24-hour telephone counselling lines allow you to talk anonymously to a trained counsellor any time of the day or night.
- Avoid being alone (especially at night). Stay with a family member or friend or have someone stay with you until your thoughts of suicide decrease.
- Develop a safety plan. Come up with a plan that you can put into action at any time, for example have a friend or family member agree that you will call them when you are feeling overwhelmed or upset.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol when you are feeling down. Many drugs are depressants and can make you feel worse, they don’t help to solve problems and can make you do things you wouldn’t normally do.
- Set yourself small goals to help you move forward and feel in control. Set goals even on an hour-by-hour or day-by-day basis – write them down and cross them off as you achieve them.
- Write down your feelings. You might keep a journal, write poetry or simply jot down your feelings. This can help you to understand yourself better and help you to think about alternative solutions to problems.
- Stay healthy. try to get enough exercise and eat well – Exercising can help you to feel better by releasing hormones (endorphins) into your brain. Eating well will help you to feel energetic and better able to manage difficult life events.
- See your local doctor or a specialist to discuss support or treatment. Discuss your suicidal thoughts and feelings with your doctor, talk about ways to keep yourself safe, and make sure you receive the best treatment and care.
- See a mental health professional. Psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and other health professionals are trained to deal with issues relating to suicide, mental illness and well being. You can find them in the Yellow Pages or visit your GP or contact a crisis line for information.
Thoughts of suicide occur to many people and for a range of reasons. The most important thing to remember is that help is available. Talking to someone is a good place to start, even though it may seem difficult. Tell someone today!
Find help in your local area
If you’re feeling suicidal, getting help early can help you cope with the situation and avoid things getting worse. After you get over a crisis, you need to do all you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. There are a number of sources of support in your local area. If the first place or person you contact can’t help, or doesn’t meet your needs, try another.
Where to get help
Lifeline has centres all around Australia. Check their website for the centre closest to you, and for resources and information related to suicide prevention: www.lifeline.org.au or www.justlook.org.au.
General practitioner A GP can refer you for a Mental Health Care Plan. Look for one in the Yellow Pages, or contact your local community health centre.
Community Health CentresThese are listed in the White Pages.
PsychiatristLook in the Yellow Pages, or ask a referring organisation such as Lifeline’s Just Ask. To claim the Medicare rebate, you need a letter of referral from a GP.
PsychologistYou can find these through your GP, community health centre, the Yellow Pages or the Australian Psychological Society (APS). The APS provides a referral service on 1800 333 497 or visit their website at www.psychology.org.au.
Counsellors and psychotherapistsYou can find these through your GP, community health centre, or the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Inc (PACFA). PACFA have a national register of individual counsellors and psychotherapists available to the public at www.pacfa.org.au.
Veterans Counselling Service
A mental health website for young people up to age 25: www.headspace.org.au
Gay and Lesbian Counselling and Community Services of Australia provides information and links to counselling services for gay and lesbian people. Telephone: 1800 18 45 27 or see the website for numbers in your state/territory, www.glccs.org.au
Who to call
For immediate support, when your life may be in danger, ring 000 or go to your local hospital emergency department.
National 24 Hour crisis telephone counselling services
Lifeline 13 11 14
Salvo Care Line1300 36 36 22
Kids Help Line1800 55 1800
Crisis Counselling Service1300 363 622
Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team1800 629 354
New South Wales
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention1300 363 622
Salvo Care Line02 9331 6000
Crisis Line Northern Territory1800 019 116
Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service13 14 65
Samaritans Lifelink – country1300 364 566
Samaritans Lifelink – metro03 6331 3355
Suicide Help Line Victoria1300 651 251
Note: Many of these services also offer interpreter services for those people who speak English as a second language (ESL).
Acknowledgement: This page was created with reference to the “Living is for everyone” publication Promoting good practice in suicide prevention: Activities targeting men produced by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: 2008.