Thinking About Suicide

Thinking about suicide is very common.

It is estimated that up to 1 person in 20 is thinking about suicide at any one time.

In Scotland that means 262,740 people may be thinking about it, that is enough people to fill Hampden Park 5 times.

That means you are not alone, there are thousands of other people like you. People who might be struggling with thoughts of suicide who, just like you, feel a whole number of different emotions. 

Thinking about suicide is not necessarily about wanting to die; it can be about not wanting to live, which is not the same thing.  It can be a feeling that you can’t keep going, it’s too painful, too difficult or you can’t see a solution to the pain or the problems.

People can live with suicidal thoughts for years. Sometimes they are constant, always there at the back of the mind, and other times they can come and go. Sometimes they get too much and there may be times you feel you need to act on those thoughts. If you feel like this then you don’t have to act on your thoughts, you can choose to keep yourself safe, and you can seek help from another person. 

Getting help in an emergency

If you don't feel you can keep yourself safe right now, seek immediate help.


» go to any hospital Accident & Emergency department
» call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you can't get to A&E, or tell someone and ask them to contact 999 for you


If you need some support right now, but don't want to go to A&E, here are some other options for you to try:

» call NHS 24 on 111
» call the Samaritans on 116 123, they're open 24 hours and are there to listen
» contact your GP for an emergency appointment

How do I ask?

If you're worried that someone you know is thinking about suicide, the most important thing you can do is to ask them.

Use our 'How to Ask' guide for some quick advice.