A young person’s guide to managing difficult feelings

If you are a young person living with suicidal thoughts, you may feel that you have so much emotional pain that you can’t see another way to stop these feelings right now.

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 are able to get help as there are more positive options and solutions out there. You are not alone. As many as 1 in 4 of us will experience these thoughts at some point in our lives.

Don’t be afraid to TALK

T - talk to a trusted adult about how you are feeling
A - ask for help and support
L - listen to what they say and try out any coping skills
they suggest
K - keep yourself safe, know who to contact or where to
go if things get too tough

Why do I feel like this?

Suicidal thoughts and feelings can be a result of many different things or a number of smaller things that have built up.
Remember suicidal thoughts or urges to self-harm do not have to turn in to actions.

How can I stay safe right now?

If you feel unable to keep yourself safe from harm, or have a suicide plan that you are going to act on go to A and E or ring 999 for urgent help and support. There are things you can do to help you manage these difficult feelings.

These include:

  • Make an appointment at the GP or ring NHS 111 (or ask a parent/carer to do this and to go with you). Tell the GP how you are feeling.
  • Talk to someone at home, school, college or contact one of the helplines (see the support list). By starting to talk about how you feel you are already seeking support.This is a positive step forward.
  • Go somewhere or see someone who makes you feel safe.
  • Remove anything that could harm you.
  • Take 5 minutes at a time. Try to distract yourself.
  • Write down things to look forward to. Like watching your favourite TV programme or seeing someone special.
  • Think about all the people that care about you and that would miss you.
  • Look after yourself; drink plenty of water and have something to eat. Avoid drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
  • Choose what you can cope with right now.

People do get through this every day and so can you!

How do I cope in the future?

  • Take one day at a time.
  • Remember it’s ok NOT to be ok sometimes.
  • Write a journal of your moods, thoughts and behaviour. Are you able to share this with someone to see if there is a pattern
  • There are websites that offer different ways to cope.
  • Try suggested coping techniques and see which work best for you.
  • Recognise we do not have control over everything; such as people becoming ill or other people’s behaviour.
  • Plan something to do each day.

Whatever works for you!

Create a safety plan

  • When you are feeling better make a personal safety plan. Try to identify your triggers, your thoughts and feelings that are linked with the suicidal and self- harming thoughts.
  • Make a list of calming and positive things to do. Such as watch your favourite film, paint, write a poem, take photos, exercise…
  • Write down the reasons to live and read them if you are feeling low.
  • Make a note of all the people and helplines you can contact.
  • Consider making a happy box. Fill the box with things that make you smile and remind you of some positive things you have got. Include fun photos, holiday souvenirs, gig tickets, your best loved DVD, a USB with a mix of your favourite music and TV programmes, maybe a puzzle or note book, you can even add a chocolate bar...make it unique to you!

Support and services

If you need medical treatment or have a suicide plan and are going to act on it, go immediately to A and E or call 999.

Contact your GP

NHS direct: call free on 111 24 hour helpline providing health advice and access to out of hours GP.


Free, any time, from any phone on 116 123
Email: jo@samaritans.org
Samaritans have a drop in at the local Wakefield branch.


Free, safe and anonymous online support for 11 to 19 year olds


Online, on the phone anytime on 0800 1111.

Papyrus HopeLine

Offer online text or phone support to young people.

Call 0800 068 41 41 or text 07860 039 967 or email: pat@papyrus-uk.org


Their website has resources for children and young people, parents and professionals.

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Offers help via the website and a helpline for men aged 15 - 35.

Heads Above the Waves

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


A creative site to communicate with other young people and share their encouraging experiences through the use of blogs, stories, poetry and art.


A safe place to listen, share and be heard.

The Mix

Website offers young people under 25 advice and support on a range of issues.

Text 85258 for crisis support, they aim to respond within 10 minutes.

Inspiring Futures (Turning Point)

Call 0300 123 1912   Email Wakefield-IF@turning-point.co.uk  

Wakefield young person and young adult's (under 25) confidential Drug and Alcohol Service, also has a free helpline for family members.


www.cruse.org.uk or www.winstonswish.org for bereavement support.


Online instant message service that is confidential and anonymous to support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ communities.

Doc Ready

Helps to prepare people to talk about mental health to the GP.

Well Women

01924 211114

Face to face counselling and support groups available for over 16yrs.

Stay Alive app

App to download from Grassroots Suicide Prevention.

Exam Stress

9 ways to beat revision stress:

  1. Do the actual work – revise
  2. When you’re feeling really stressed, talk to someone about it.
  3. ake sure you get some fresh air each day
  4. Stick to your regular meal times
  5. Do something to switch off 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
Download the 'Managing difficult feelings' leaflet