what ‘counts’ as suicidal thoughts/feelings?
Suicidal thoughts and intention are often paired with mental illness, although not all mentally ill people are suicidal, and not all people experiencing thoughts of suicide are mentally ill. Likewise, suicidal thoughts and feelings are not always connected to specific intention. Regardless of if you have a detailed plan, or have experienced vague thoughts without intent behind them, suicidal thoughts and feelings indicate a state of emotional stress and difficulty. It is always worth seeking help.
A safety plan is a written set of guidelines you can draft with a therapist, or someone close to you who you trust. It should include a person/hotline you can call if you are feeling suicidal, and any de-escalation techniques that work for you personally.
University of Melbourne Counselling and Psychological Services
Telephone: 8344 6927
Address: Level 5, 757 Swanston Street (Stop One)
Office Hours: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday and 9am – 7pm, Wednesday (except January and December).
Anxiety support group:
Anxiety support group is run every second Tuesday at 4:15pm, Training Room 1 Union House. It is a quiet, safe space to talk about anxiety issues confidentially.
Mental wellness support group:
Mental wellness support group runs on alternative Tuesdays with anxiety support group, in the same time and space. It’s a confidential space to talk about neurodivergent and navigating study, work and relationships.
If you are experiencing a strong desire, and/or have a plan:
ORYGEN Youth Crisis Assessment Team (for people up to the age of 24)
telephone: 1900 888 320
North Western Mental Health Service Psychiatric Triage (for all ages, open 24/7)
Phone: 1300 874 243
Suicide Call Back Service – Free counselling for anyone affected by suicide. Their services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone:1300 659 467
Online Chat: 24 hours, 7 days
If you are concerned for someone …
Having someone you care about express suicidal thoughts can be very distressing and overwhelming. Remember, their reaching out to you is a very positive sign. It’s important to take them seriously, even if they didn’t seem like they would be contemplating suicide to you before they told you about it. On the other end, catastrophising responses like “what would your family do?” or “but that would really hurt the people who care about you” can make the person feel attacked and overwhelmed. Stay calm and listen to what they have to say, and figure out what the best course of action is from their.
You can encourage them to reach out for professional support or to call a helpline like Lifeline (13 11 14) if they feel in need of immediate support. You can stay with them while they talk on the phone, or walk with them to counselling services (9-5pm weekdays) if you are on campus. If you are very concerned about their safety and need to let someone else know, don’t keep it a secret.
After talking to a suicidal person, you may yourself be feeling distressed and vulnerable. Talking to someone like a trusted friend or family member is a good start to processing these emotions. It’s also a good idea to talk to a GP or therapist if you feel you need further support.