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Information, Advice and sources of support for young people in Suffolk

Feeling Overwhelmed

Trigger warning – some of the issues discussed on this page might be triggering.

“Life can be painful, and sometimes this can cause us to have suicidal thoughts. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

On this page we cover:

  1. Signs someone is feeling overwhelmed
  2. Where to get help and support
  3. Could you be a life saver?
  4. Resources

1 in 5 people have thought about suicide at some time in their life, according to the Samaritans – Myths about Suicide

What are the signs that someone is having suicidal thoughts or feelings?

They may say these sort of things: 

  • “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”. 
  • “I’m worthless”. 
  • “There’s no reason for me to live”. 
  • “You’re better off without me”.
  • “If I died, would you miss me?”
  • “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die”.

They may do these sorts of things:

  • Giving away things most valuable to them.
  • Self-harming.
  • Drinking more or taking drugs.
  • Making funeral arrangements/saying goodbyes.
  • Suddenly ‘recovered’ after a period of depression.

Males are less likely to talk about their feelings

This Childline campaign video ‘Things guys don’t talk about’ helps to spread the word to young men about seeking support if they are struggling.  

What should I do, and where can I get support?

Trying to ‘pull yourself together’ or ‘man up’ doesn’t always work.
The best thing to do if you’re struggling is to talk to someone.

You are worth it!

If you can’t talk to your mates or your family, you can get anonymous and confidential support from the following places:

If you can, try talking to a trusted adult or teacher who can help you seek support.

This songs lyrics ‘get you the moon’ by kina makes me think of those close to me who help me to keep going when I’m at my lowest.

“Could you be a life saver?” See our four steps below to help someone.

1. Don't be afraid to talk to them about it

“Talking about suicide will not make it happen!” 

Things you can say:

  1. “Are you OK?” – Ask twice as people tend to say
    okay automatically at first.
  2. Just listen to them without judging.
  3. Ask questions to find out why they feel this way.
  4.  Reassure them that these feelings won’t last and they can get over these feelings.
  5. Help them find somewhere they can go to get support.
2. Be Kind - don't bully!

Young people who bully others or who are bullied are more at risk of suicide. Bullying causes people to feel suicidal so don’t do it. Being kind to others saves lives.

3.Know what to do if someone is threatening to take their life 

If someone is feeling suicidal or talking about taking their life, take it seriously. You should:

  • Take them to your local hospital’s emergency department (A & E)
  • Make an urgent visit with them to see a GP
  • Drop in to a local Samaritans branch (based in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds)
  • Call the NHS Mental Health Crisis Support Line, call 111 and press option 2

If they are in immediate danger, you should:

  • Call 999 – Stay with them or keep talking to them on the phone until help arrives.
  • Don’t leave them alone.
  • Always remember to put your own safety first when helping someone. 

Showing that you care can sometimes be more meaningful than what you say. It’s NotAllOnYou. Part 3 of 8 💛 #MentalHealth #ForYouPage

♬ original sound – YoungMindsUK
TikTok says “Show that you care”
4. If they're distressed, find ways to distract them 

A good way to do this is by using the ‘5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique:

  • Name 5 things you can see around you.
  • Name 4 things you can feel (clothes, warm, cool, breeze, touch)
  • Name 3 things you can hear right now.
  • Name 2 things you can smell (or, 2 things you like the smell of)
  • Name 1 thing that you like to taste  

Get them to focus on their breathing – close your eyes and inhale through your nose, slowly counting to four. Hold that breath for another four seconds and release your breath counting four seconds. Or breathe to the TikTok below.


Try this twice and tell us how you feel. #BoxBreathing #Breathwork

♬ original sound – Headspace
TikTok says “Try breathing along to this shape twice.”

Useful wellbeing apps: 

Stay Alive 

Calm Harm


Schools and organisations can request copies of our Source ‘Feeling Overwhelmed or Suicidal’ Suffolk young life saver Z card, by emailing 

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Page updated on March 24th, 2023 at 06:36pm