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

Feeling Overwhelmed

“Life can feel like a constant battle, with school, relationships, and figuring out who you are. Some days, you’ll feel like a warrior, ready to take on anything, but other days, you’ll feel like a tired soldier, needing a break. But it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Take the time to rest and recharge, and know that every morning brings a fresh start, a chance to find the strength within yourself to face the world. You’ve got this!”

From The Source Team

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

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

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

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 say mixed messages like “I want to kill myself…but I wouldn’t do this to you.”

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.

They may seem:

  • More happy or active than usual
  • Feeling more optimistic

They maybe feel more optimistic as they can see an “end” in sight.

Males are less likely to talk about their feelings

Things guys don’t talk about

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, or drop in to a Steam House Cafe to seek support.

Steam House Cafes
Steam House Cafes are a safe space for people aged 18+ to walk-in and seek mental health and wellbeing support. In Suffolk there is one currently based at these locations:
Ipswich Steam House Cafe: 2 Carr Street, Ipswich, IP4 1EJ. Open Monday to Friday 10:00am – 10:00pm
Bury St Ednunds Steam House Cafe: The Malthouse, 8 Elseys Yard, Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3AA. Open Monday to Friday 10:00am – 10:00pm

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.

How to respond:

  • Avoid using phrases like “it will be ok” as this can seem dismissive and invalidating – just listen to them.
  • Even if they tell you not to tell someone – tell someone. You will feel a lot better for it, and what’s worse someone dying and not being able to talk to them again, or someone being angry at you for a few days.

“Even though it’s hard to share how someone feels, it will be more helpful for both of you in finding support if you do share it”

What if the person your concerned about doesn’t want to get help?

You can’t force someone to get help but you can encourage them.

  • Speak to a trusted adult to get advice
  • Tell the person – “Its really positive that you’ve taken this step in telling me. I may need to tell someone that I trust so that we can get you the best help.”
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.”

Losing someone to suicide

Support if you are a young person under 18

If you are a young person who is struggling to cope with the loss of a friend or relative by suicide, there is support out there.

Contact the Suffolk and North East Essex Bereaved by Suicide Service, which offers free and confidential support to all children and young people in Suffolk under 18 years old. Call 01473 322683 or email

Support for adults and anyone aged 18 or over
If you are 18 or over, and live in East and West Suffolk, or North East Essex, you can contact the Suffolk and North East Essex Bereaved by Suicide Service (above) for support.
If you are 18 or over, and live in Lowestoft and Waveney, please contact Norfolk and Waveney Mind Charity for support.


Useful wellbeing apps: 

Stay Alive 

Calm Harm


Schools and organisations can download our Source ‘Feeling Overwhelmed or Suicidal’ Suffolk young life saver Z card from our resources page or request hard copies by emailing 

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Page updated on November 20th, 2023 at 01:04pm