How to talk about suicide

Who can you talk to about suicide?

Talking about suicide with someone can be very tough. You may be concerned about what the other person will think and that they may tell you that you are overreacting. You might feel nervous or embarrassed. You might feel that it is easier to keep it to yourself rather than taking the risk of telling someone.

However, if you chose the right person, then talking with them about how you are feeling can help.

Someone you trust

Choose someone who you can be honest with and who you can trust. It may be a friend or family member, a doctor, counsellor or someone else in your life who you feel comfortable with.

What do you say?

You can start by talking about what’s upsetting you. Let them know how you’ve been struggling and what you’re feeling. This is a difficult conversation to start, so take your time so you are comfortable and ready.

Listed below are some ideas to get you started or you can use your own words:

  • “Things have been getting on top of me lately and I’m wondering if we can talk about it.”
  • “I’ve been feeling really upset and I’m worried about some of the things I’ve been thinking lately.”
  • “I’m feeling a bit out of control recently and am feeling really distressed. I need to talk about it.”


How to talk about suicide with a health professional

You can also talk to a counsellor on a helpline such as SuicideLine Victoria by calling 1300 651 251. SuicideLine Victoria is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be clear and honest with them about what has been going on for you, including your suicidal thoughts and feelings.

When talking suicide with a professional, it is important to let them know whether you have:

  • been thinking more often or in more detail about how you would kill or hurt yourself
  • access to the means to carry out these ideas, or taken steps to obtain these means
  • thought about when and how you would kill or hurt yourself
  • tried to hurt or kill yourself before, and if so how what you did
  • made a definite decision to kill or hurt yourself

Sharing this information with a professional is an important step in making sure you get the right support to keep yourself safe.

Talking about suicide is difficult, but it is important to get support for yourself at this time. To find out more see our Get help with professional support page for information on professional support options, and our Help when feeling overwhelmed and suicidal page for tips on ways you can manage these difficult feelings.


In an emergency

If you are in immediate danger, or concerned for your safety in any way:

  • Call 000 and request an ambulance. Stay on the line, speak clearly, and be ready to answer the operator’s questions
  • Attend your local hospital’s emergency department

For further information and services please visit our Get help with professional support page.


Get Help Now



Don’t let it build up. SuicideLine Victoria is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service offering professional support to people who are concerned about their emotional and mental health. Call 1300 651 251. If it is an emergency, call 000.