If you feel like you want to die, tell someone. If a life is in danger, it is an emergency.

Call 999 if you:

  • are thinking about suicide
  • feel that your life may be in danger
  • have already taken steps to end your life

Do not be scared, it is the right thing to do. You must get help and you will not be in trouble.

Here are things to consider if you are thinking about taking your own life:

  1. Wait. You do not have to act on your thoughts of suicide. Suicidal behaviour is an attempt to solve overwhelming problems. Your thoughts and feelings CAN change.
  2. Talk to someone. A friend, family member, or a support service. There are people who want to listen and who can help you.
  3. Seek help. If talking is hard, there is online support.
  4. Keep safe. Try to keep yourself safe for now.
  5. Reflect. Think about what your reasons for living might be.

Getting help in an emergency

If you do not feel you can keep yourself safe, seek immediate help.

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance. Be as clear as you can about:

  • where you are
  • your name
  • description
  • injuries or steps you might have taken.

Be open about your thoughts of suicide. You can ask someone else to contact 999 for you.

Even if you have not already taken steps to end your life it is still OK to ring 999.

You could make your way to your local A&E department. If you are unsure where this is you can search online - Find your nearest A&E department

Many people worry that that A&E is only for physical injuries. Most A&E departments will have mental health professionals working with them. They can see what support you need moving forward. They can help to keep you safe in the meantime.

If you need some support right now, but do not want to go to A&E, here are some other options for you to consider:

  • Call Samaritans on Freephone 116 123. They are open 24 hours, 7 days a week and are there to listen
  • Contact your GP for an emergency appointment or the primary care out of hours team
  • Call NHS 111, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Contact Sanctuary by Sea, your local mental health crisis team, between 6pm and 1am, 7 days a week on 111 option 2 for a referral.
  • Talk to someone you trust, let family or friends know what is going on for you. There is no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings - starting the conversation is what is important.

Are you worried that someone else may be about to take their own life?

What you can do

  • Talk - If you are worried about someone, try to get them to talk to you. Ask open-ended questions. Do not worry about having the answers.
  • Samaritans have tips on how to start a difficult conversation. They also have advice about things to look out for. This might be a sign that things are going wrong and how you can help.
  • Rethink has advice on how to support someone who is having suicidal thoughts.
  • The CALM website also has advice you may find useful.
  • Be alert - Not everyone who thinks about suicide will tell someone, but there may be warning signs.
  • Be honest - Tell them why you are worried about them and ask about suicide. Tell them you want to know how they really are, and that it is OK to talk about suicide.
  • Listen -Listening is one of the most helpful things you can do. Try not to judge or give advice.
  • Get them some help - It is OK if you do not know how; the ideas on this page can get you started. You could encourage them to contact the Samaritans or seek support from a professional.
  • Take care of yourself - It can be helpful to discuss your feelings with a friend, or a confidential service.

Specialist Suicide Bereavement Service

A specialist service is now available to Essex residents. 

The service provides emotional and practical support for anyone who has felt the impact of suicide at any time. Access the service by contacting the Essex Wellbeing Service.

The service offers:

  • practical one-to-one emotional support, information and guidance
  • help when engaging with Police and other agencies
  • support with the inquest explaining the judicial process and attendance at the inquest
  • assistance with any media enquiries
  • referrals and signposting to other services as required
  • support to bereaved children and young adults, and their parents and guardians
  • help overcoming any feeling of isolation

Please note this is not a counselling service.

Service availability

You can contact the Essex Wellbeing Service to request an assessment to support your needs, this may include a referral to a specialist suicide bereavement service. The specialist service is for residents who are:

  • affected by a recent or historial bereavement
  • adults and young people aged 11 upwards
  • children aged between 4 and 11 can access the service, with an agreed ppropriate adult, after an initial assessment

Accessing the service

The service is available on the following days and times:

  • Monday and Friday 8am to 7pm
  • Saturdays 9am to 12pm

Reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure this service is accessible. If a referral has been made by the Essex Wellbeing Service to the specialist service you will be contacted with 48 hours.

For more information contact the Essex Wellbeing Service on 0300 303 9988 or email provide.essexwellbeing@nhs.net.