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Mind Your Head
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Mind Your Head
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Learn More

If you believe that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression or have suicidal thoughts, you can learn more by clicking on the links below.

Getting Help

Mind Your Head is your link to help and a happier life. A qualified counsellor can talk to you about issues you may be experiencing and help you implement strategies to be happy and healthy again.

You can find a qualified Counsellor in your vicinity here: Counsellor Search

If you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of grief, pain, loss, anxiety or having thoughts of ending your life, please call the Lifeline Crisis Line immediately.

Lifeline Crisis Support

13 11 14

Lady Sitting

Have you had changes in your life, your health, or your behaviour recently?

Are any of these statements true for you?

  • I feel overwhelming, ongoing pain. Even if I may have coped ok before, my coping resources are depleted now
  • I feel hopeless and/or helpless. The pain I am experiencing seems only able to get worse, with no hope for the future and no way out
  • My personality has changed. I have become sad, irritable, tired, withdrawn, and/or easily angered
  • I hate myself and have a deep sense of guilt or shame; I feel worthless
  • I feel like no one cares about me, and feel myself to be a burden. Everyone would be better off without me
  • I’m losing interest in things I used to enjoy, including seeing friends and having sex
  • I have withdrawn from the social groups I used to hang out with
  • My performance at school or work has gone down
  • I sometimes feel rage or uncontrollable anger
  • I feel powerless; my resources for reducing pain or sorting out my problems are exhausted
  • I feel like I don’t care what I look like anymore, and am neglecting myself physically
  • I have experienced changes in my sleeping habits (either sleeping a lot more or a lot less than before)
  • I have experienced changes in my eating habits (either eating a lot more or a lot less than before) (Ainsworth, 2011; Smith et al, 2012; Florida Office of Drug Control, 2009).

The statements above represent emotional and behavioural changes that are associated with suicide. If several of them apply to you, then it is really important for you to read more.

If you are experiencing major changes in your life or personality, you could be at risk for harming yourself. To assess this further, see if any of these behaviours describe you lately.

  • I have been making remarks such as “If I see you again...”, “I’d be better off dead,” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”
  • I have been preoccupied with death, making jokes about it, reading about it, getting information on euthanasia, or creating stories, poems, or artwork with death themes
  • I have developed a suicide plan, and have gotten hold of the means to do it (such as a gun or stockpiled medications). I might even have been rehearsing the behaviour and/or setting a time for the attempt
  • I have done some things which hurt myself, such as cutting myself, burning myself, or banging my head on purpose. I may have been using more alcohol or drugs, or practicing unsafe sex
  • I have made out a will and have been giving away my most valuable things. I have been making arrangements for family members, and generally putting my affairs in order
  • I have made some unexpected visits to friends and family members, and said goodbye in a way that means I don’t expect to see them again
  • I have given hints about what I’m thinking of, such as when I’ve said, “You won’t have to worry about me anymore”, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up”, or “I’m so depressed; I just can’t go on”
  • I have withdrawn from family and friends; I have an increasing desire to be alone
  • I feel calm now, even though I was depressed (or possibly agitated) before (Smith et al, 2012; Ainsworth, 2011)

You could be experiencing suicidal behaviour

Suicide, the act of deliberately taking one’s own life, has been described as an attempt to solve a problem of intense emotional pain with impaired problem-solving skills (Kalafat & Underwood, 2013).  Suicidal behaviour is any deliberate action that has potentially life-threatening consequences, such as taking a drug overdose or deliberately crashing a car (Dyer, 2006).

While every case of completed suicide is unique, there are several common factors which tend to be present when someone is contemplating suicide. Often, the person is experiencing rigid, black-and-white thinking, as opposed to entertaining an array of possible solutions for what is bothering them.  The person is being motivated to act by unbearable psychological pain.  The idea to kill themselves seems to be a way of stopping their consciousness, and thus represents a solution which seems to afford them the escape they desire.  Usually, the person doesn’t want to die, per se, but their needs have been frustrated, and they feel both hopeless and helpless.  They try to employ any methods they know about for problem-solving, including communicating about their mental state to others, but their time-worn problem-solving methods are inadequate, and – all too often – others fail to understand how badly they are suffering, and so don’t “hear” the plea for help (Oltmanns & Emery, 2013).

You might be interested to know what the risk factors are for suicide (that is: what factors would tend to put you or someone you know at higher risk for committing suicide). Most of the factors are associated with difficult life changes:

  • terminal illness or chronic pain
  • death of a relative or friend
  • divorce or separation
  • a broken relationship
  • social isolation or loneliness
  • impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • stressful life events or stress on the family
  • loss of health, whether real or imagined
  • loss of job, home, money, personal security, status, or self-esteem
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • anxiety, depression or other mental illness (especially when someone is recovering from an attempt at suicide)
  • previous suicide attempts
  • family history of suicide
  • history of trauma or abuse (Florida Office of Drug Control, 2009)

If you find that you a number of boxes on the previous screen relate to you – and especially if some of the above risk factors– it is imperative for you to seek professional help immediately.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or have experienced a personal crisis, please contact Lifeline Crisis Support immediately on 13 11 14.

Mind Your Head
Australian Counselling Association

ACA - Australian Counselling Association

Mind Your Head is an initiative of the Australian Counselling Association, a national professional association for qualified Counsellors.