Talk to someone you trust as soon as you can

Suicide is not always planned.

Suicide is not always planned.

Sometimes a depressed person plans a suicide in advance. Many times, though, suicide attempts happen impulsively, in a moment of feeling desperately upset.

A situation such as a break-up, a big fight with a parent, an unintended pregnancy, being outed by someone else, or being victimised in any way can cause someone to feel desperately upset. Often a situation like this, on top of an existing depression, acts like the final straw.

Some people who attempt suicide mean to die and others don't. For some a suicide attempt is a way to express deep emotional pain. They can't say how they feel so, for them, attempting suicide feels like the only way to get their message across. Sadly, even when a suicide attempt is a cry for help and the person doesn't mean to die, there's no way to control it.

Many people who really didn't mean to kill themselves end up dead or critically ill.

l Warning signs

There are often signs that someone might be thinking about or planning a suicide attempt. Here are some of them:

- Talking about suicide or death in general;

- Talking about "going away";

- Referring to things they "won't be needing" and giving away possessions;

- Talking about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty;

- Pulling away from friends or family and losing the desire to go out;

- Having no desire to take part in favourite things or activities;

- Having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly;

- Experiencing changes in eating or sleeping habits;

- Engaging in self-destructive behaviour - drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or cutting.

l What if this is you?

If you have been thinking about suicide, get help right away. Depression is powerful. You can't wait and hope that your mood might improve.

When a person has been feeling down for a long time, it's hard to step back and be objective.

Talk to someone you trust as soon as you can. If you can't talk to a parent, talk to a coach, a relative, a school counsellor, a religious leader or a teacher. Call a suicide crisis line or your local emergency number.

These toll-free lines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by professionals who can help you without ever knowing your name or seeing your face.

All calls are confidential - no one you know will find out that you've called.

They are there to help you figure out how to work through tough situations. - Kidshealth