A young person’s guide to managing difficult feelings

Young person wearing a yellow coat looking up and off to the right

If you are having suicidal thoughts, you may think it’s the only way to escape what you feel is an impossible situation, you just want things to stop getting worse.

Thoughts and feelings are very different! But these thoughts do not have to be acted on. Try to put some time between these thoughts and any actions, so you can get help as there are other options and solutions out there.

You are not alone! Many young people have experienced or are going through these types of thoughts and feelings even if they don’t show it. Thinking about suicide is more common than we realise.

Content on this page

Don’t be afraid to TALK

Talk to an adult you trust about how you are feeling
Ask for support
Listen to advice and try any self-help tips suggested
Keep yourself safe, know who to contact if things get too tough

Why do I feel like this?

People will think of suicide for different reasons. It can be hard to identify and understand where these thoughts and feelings come from.

The trigger could be anything… difficult life events, feeling under too much pressure or a number of smaller things that have built up. Sometimes there is no reason.

Remind yourself these feelings will pass so try to put some time between these thoughts and any actions, so you are able to get help. There are other options and solutions out there.

How can I stay safe right now?

If you need urgent medical treatment go to your nearest Emergency Department (A&E) Or call 999.

If you feel you cannot keep yourself safe from harm or have a suicide plan that you are going to act you need to talk to someone straight away and seek help.

  • contact the CAMHS REACH team. Available between 9am – 8pm, seven days a week
  • If you’re over 18yrs contact tel: 01924 316900
  • Ring your GP (they also have an out-of-hours service) or NHS 111
    • be honest and tell them how you are feeling
    • the people answering these calls are friendly and are used to helping people talk about difficult things
  • remove anything that you could use to harm yourself
  • talk to someone you trust at home, school, college or work
  • contact one of the helplines
  • go somewhere or see someone who makes you feel safe
  • choose what you can cope with right now
  • take 5 minutes at a time, try to distract yourself
  • do something physical or creative

How do I cope in the future?

  • take it one day at a time

  • remember it's OK not to be OK sometimes

  • there are trusted websites in the booklet that offer different ways to cope
    • if you try one of the strategies, but that doesn’t seem to help, don’t give up

  • keep trying!
    • it may take some practice and if it’s just not right for you, try a different one. You can still overcome these difficult feelings

  • recognise we don’t have control over everything, such as people becoming ill or how other people behave

  • be kind to yourself don’t put yourself down
    • create a positive mantra such as ‘I can do this’ or ‘I’ve got this’ and repeat it every day

  • plan to do something every day

    Whatever works for you!

Getting Started

You could…

  • make a routine - this will help change your mind set and keep you active
  • get up early, have a shower and get dressed even if you don’t have anywhere to go
  • eat and drink regularly (but avoid alcohol as it could make you feel worse)
  • try to get 9 hours sleep - good sleep helps our mental health in so many ways
  • turn your devices off 1 hour before going to bed as the blue light keeps our body awake
  • find a purpose, a reason to get out of bed
  • try a new activity
  • do something nice for someone else

Create a safety net

  • it may be easier to put together a safety net when you are calm
  • try to identify what triggers these difficult feelings or self-harming thoughts
  • make a list of things to lift and calm your mood)
  • write down those who are important to you and things you are good at
  • identify things that can help you stay safe
  • make a list of family, friends, professionals, and helplines to contact. Add their contact details below, and put them in your phone

Support and services

In crisis?

If you need urgent medical treatment, go immediately to A&E
Or call 999.

If you have a suicide plan and are going to act on it contact the Reach team. A parent/carer can do this if you are under 16 or you can contact them yourself if you are over 16 yrs.

Available between 9am-8pm, seven days a week. Tel; 01977 735865

Over 18 yrs old? Contact Adult mental health 01924 316900

Contact your GP or call NHS Direct free on 111.

A 24-hour helpline who provide health advice and access to out of hours GP.

Papyrus HopeLine

Offer online text or phone support to young people.
Call 0800 068 4141 or email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Samaritans Free, any time, from any phone on 116 123
Email: jo@samaritans.org

or chat through

Wakefield Samaritans have a drop-in (see their website).


Text Shout to 85258.
Free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone struggling to cope.


Free, any time, day, or night for help with any worry (under 19’s).
Call 0800 1111, email or use the online 1-2-1 counsellor chat.

Heads Above the Waves

Online advice, support and strategies for young people suffering from depression and self-harm.


For young people to share their encouraging experiences through blogs, stories, poetry and art.


Online instant message service that’s confidential and anonymous to support the wellbeing of LGBTQ+.


A safe place to listen, share and be heard.

The Mix

Helpline 0808 808 4994.
In crisis? Text THEMIX to 85258.
Online one to one chat plus a counselling service (25 and under).

Young Minds

Emotional wellbeing support/ advice for children and young people.

Well Women

Call 01924 211114
Face to Face Counselling and support groups available for 16+.


Support and advice around eating disorders.

Hope Again

www.Hopeagain.org.uk for bereavement support.

Star bereavement

Local bereavement support for children and young people including those effected by suicide.

Victim Support

Call 0300 3031971.
Practical support for anyone (including those under 18’s) who has been affected by crime.

Inspiring Futures

Call 0300 123 1912.
Young people/adults (under 25) confidential drug and alcohol support service in Wakefield.

Talking Therapies

Call 01924 234860 for local support around anxiety, OCD, low mood etc: for over 16 yrs.

Youth Work Team

Provides groups for young carers, LGBTQ+ and young people with disabilities.


Offers information, support and self-care tips on a range of topics plus a one-to-one online chat service (see website for times or to arrange a chat).

Exam Stress9 ways to beat revision stress:

  1. do actually revise
  2. when you’re feeling really stressed, talk to someone about it
  3. make sure you get some fresh air each day
  4. stick to your regular mealtimes and drink plenty of water
  5. do something to switch off from revising an hour before bed
  6. don’t dwell on worst case scenarios
  7. have a good sleep the night before an exam
  8. once you’ve done the exam, move on to the next one
  9. don’t aim for perfection – it’s a myth that doesn’t exist!

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