Suicidal Thoughts

When you’re weighed down by depression, chronic pain, sadness, anxiety or despair, it seems hard to believe that a better life is possible. But it is.

If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, Recovery Is Possible.

It started with just a few thoughts. Over time, my anxiety increased. I became more depressed and isolated. I gave up my favourite activities including sport, saw less and less of my friends, relied more on alcohol and had difficulty sleeping unless I was drunk. Even then, my sleep was not refreshing, and the depression was overwhelming as soon as I woke up. Eating was a struggle. Life had lost all flavour and interest for me. I felt like I was only going through the motions of my life and my ‘keeping up a front’ for everyone else just seemed too hard to continue. I felt they’d be better off without me. — Steve, aged 35

Steve describes so well how we can implode with the chaotic thoughts that lead us into the dark place of contemplating suicide. If you’ve ever thought about suicide then you’ll likely be familiar with the deep sense of hopelessness, of feeling trapped with no relief in sight, or of the unending exhaustion that can accompany such inner turmoil.

Fortunately, Steve reached out for help – and he found the right resources to manage his inner turmoil more effectively, a skilled counsellor to walk beside him on his journey to recovery and the tools, skills and strategies that helped him find his path to a better life.


  • Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide. Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration.
  • Most people who experience suicidal thoughts do not carry it through, although some may make suicide attempts.
  • Anyone who has suicidal thoughts should ask for help. If a loved one is having these thoughts, measures should be taken to help and protect them.


  • People who have thought about suicide say the most important thing to them is family, friends and colleagues who listen, show they care, and offer support.
  • Always take someone’s words seriously if they tell you they feel suicidal.
  • Always take yourself seriously if you are thinking about suicide – and reach out for help.

When you’re weighed down by depression, chronic pain, anxiety or despair, it seems hard to believe that a better life is possible. But it is.


Suicide is so final, so irrevocable. It leaves a trail of broken hearts, unanswered questions, shattered dreams and decades of grief for the people left behind. They struggle to understand how their loved-one could possibly think that they’d be better off without them alive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is help for people feeling suicidal. There is help for people made grief-stricken through a loved-one’s suicide. We need safe, nurturing spaces, free of judgement, where people can unravel themselves a little and find practical skills, tools and strategies to begin the journey towards healing and peace.

Reach out. You will find a listening heart.


A person who is thinking about suicide normally provides some early signs or warnings. These are just some of the things to look out for in others, but by no means is this list exhaustive:

  • Dramatic behavioural changes and mood swings
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Engaging in risky or harmful activities
  • Thinking that people would be better off without them
  • Losing interest in their appearance
  • A sense of hopelessness or despair
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Frequently talking about death
  • Putting affairs in order or making funeral arrangements


If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you think there’s a high risk of a person dying by suicide before they can get the appropriate professional help, call the person’s doctor, a mental health crisis service or phone 000 and say that the person’s life is at risk. Do not leave them alone, unless you are concerned for your own safety.

If the person agrees, you could go together to the local hospital emergency department.

The person’s doctor or acute care team can provide a range of options for treating and managing mental health issues. The emergency department at their local hospital will also be able to help them.


  • Lifeline — 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800
  • Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467
  • MensLine Australia — 1300 78 99 78
  • Open Arms crisis line — 1800 011 146 — for Australian Defence Force personnel and their families


Quest for Life if not a crisis centre. If you need immediate help, see the Crisis contacts above.

It’s common to feel as though you’ll never be happy or hopeful again. But with support and self-help tools, strategies and skills, most people who’ve felt suicidal go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.

At Quest, we provide people with a safe environment where they can utter the unutterable. We offer tools and strategies to heal the past, build a better future and restore hope through our Residential Programs.

Quest for Life knows how to help: our internal research results show that participants feel better after attending a program and that this improvement increases over time. On our programs, you’ll be nourished, educated and supported to find a way forward and create an environment for profound healing.

If you would like more information about how our programs can help, please complete the contact form below.