You might be feeling alone, afraid, and unsure of what to do.
You might not want to tell anyone that you are feeling suicidal because you’re worried they will be shocked or might not understand.
If you physically injured yourself, you would tell someone and ask for help. They would ensure you receive the treatment you need to help you physically recover. By telling a family, friend or someone you trust how you feel and asking them to help contact a crisis line or help you make an appointment, you are allowing them to help you.
If you are in a state of crisis or distress, reaching out is the first step to safety.
What to expect when you call…
When you contact a crisis line prepare to wait. Most Distress Lines have a trained therapist or counsellor on the line and a call can take between 15 minutes to an hour. It is worth the wait. Know that when your turn comes, you will be given the time you need. All calls or texts start by clarifying what to expect from the service.
If you or someone you know is in immediate harm.
Thinking about suicide or worried about someone? Get support. Crisis Services Canada is available 24/7 by phone and 4pm to 12am ET by text.
First Nations & Inuit Mental Health
Trans Lifeline – Peer Support Services
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline offering direct emotional support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.
Find counselling, therapy or support groups near you.
Get access mental health care or addiction services through Access 24/7. The service connects you to services and appointments in near you.
Healthlink can help you find a health care provider in your area.
211 can help direct you to resources and supports in your immediate area.
Work Your Safety Plan
Set yourself small goals. Start by working to stay safe for 5-15 minutes at a time. Set a timer for yourself and commit to practice a coping strategy you set for yourself, use that time to make a phone call asking for help or to move yourself to a place of safety. Making a safety plan when you are not in crisis should allow you to recognize early when you are reaching a trigger and can help you to take actions that keep you safe when you don’t have the capacity to think through your actions or feel like there are no other choices.
Having a safety plan that addresses your triggers and supports is an essential component to your safety. It will help you take early action while you are still capable of taking actions and making decisions and will help understand what takes you to crisis. It will also serve as a cheat sheet when you need immediate help.
- Triggers. Recognize what puts you at risk.
- Coping strategy. Find coping strategies that do not rely on the presence of others but will help you self-regulate. (Ex: 5 in-3 hold-7 out breathing, mediation, working through the senses, or running.)
- People and places. Engage with people and go to places that help to take your mind off your problems. These people do not have to know what is going on with you, they just make you happy and let you get lost in activity and fun.
- Personal supports. These are friends or family who know what is going on with you and can help protect you in a crisis.
- Important numbers. These are a quick reference to numbers of health care professionals or health services you can use.
- Keep your environment safe. Ensure your space is free of things that can harm you.
- Have a why statement. This is a reason why you want to live to remind yourself when you need that reminder.
Want to learn more about safety planning? Take a look at the resource Safety Plans to Prevent Suicide.