Suicidal Ideation

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Suicidal Ideation
Suicidal Ideation
Video: Suicidal Ideation
Video: Reducing Suicide Ideation: A Potential Lifeboat | Joe Campbell | TEDxUniversityofMississippi 2023, February

First aid for suicidal thoughts

Almost everyone has had a moment when they thought of suicide. In any case, take suicidal thoughts seriously. These are a sign that you need help.

You are not alone. You can be helped, even if it is difficult for you to imagine at the moment. A confidential conversation has been proven to provide relief.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • This is how suicidal thoughts arise
  • Talk about it!
  • ">Acute and severe suicidal ideation
  • ">
  • List of emergency phone numbers
  • Avoid misleading online forums

This is how suicidal thoughts arise

If a person is in a crisis, suffers from an acute mental illness (eg depression) or is exposed to unbearable stress - possibly over a long period of time - thoughts of suicide can arise. The urge to kill oneself usually conceals the desire to end one's suffering. It is not always a question of not wanting to live anymore, but of knowing no other way out and of being unable to endure the intolerable situation.

Talk about it

In life crises with suicidal thoughts, it can happen that one gets a kind of "tunnel vision" because of sheer suffering: the positive is faded out, the negative comes to the fore, the receptivity decreases and despair increases. Killing yourself seems like the only solution at these moments, but it is by no means. Get help and support from family members, friends and professional helpers. Affected people report that talking to others gave them relief: Their suicidal thoughts decreased, they could sleep better again and they gained hope. For interviewing tips, see How Do I Talk About Thoughts of Suicide?

Acute and severe suicidal ideation

If the thoughts of suicide persist and / or you are concerned about your safety, do not be alone and get help immediately. You can contact the following acute contact points:

  • 24h emergency numbers (e.g. the telephone counseling on telephone number 142)
  • Rescue on 144
  • Emergency or crisis service or psychiatric outpatient clinic in your area

You can find a list of the contact points under Crisis and Emergency Numbers.

Note It is generally important that you also seek professional help if you have thoughts of suicide. Professional helpers are trained in dealing with suicidal thoughts and can help you in a crisis. You can find further contact points above under Advice, Downloads and Tools.

List of emergency phone numbers

Make a list of all the emergency numbers and contact numbers of contact persons and support facilities in your area, who you can turn to in an emergency:

  • a person of trust of your choice whom you can turn to at any time,
  • a 24h hotline or
  • the telephone number of a crisis intervention center,
  • the phone number of the rescue (144).

For more helpful information, see Managing a Suicidal Crisis.

Avoid misleading online forums

The Internet offers the opportunity to find out more about suicidality. It can also provide support in dealing with stress and crises. Conversations with other people in discussion forums on the Internet about how to deal with your own problems and how to cope with them can lead to relief and a reduction in stress.

However, be careful when surfing the Internet: There are online forums in which false information is disseminated and calls for suicide and self-harm. The explanations presented in these forums may at first glance seem conclusive. However, the information presented there is simply wrong. Such forums should be avoided as they not only spread misinformation, but can also make you feel worse as a result. It is therefore advisable to seek (preferably professional) help outside of online forums or the Internet.

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