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After experiencing suicidal thoughts, Lara found a way to manage them. A class discussion made her realise that suicide was something you couldn’t change your mind about once it had happened, and so it’s not an answer to any problem.

This can help if:

  • you’ve been experiencing thoughts of suicide
  • you’re feeling completely overwhelmed
  • you feel alone in experiencing thoughts of suicide.
Girl in red hoodie at table

It was an English lesson that none of the 27 students in the room would ever forget. A warning that we would all heed. She told us that running was a better way out – that, unlike suicide, it wasn’t a forever solution.

We all respected this teacher. She was different. She treated us like the adults we believed we were. We were discussing social issues, something that came up time and time again in our English syllabus. We were all working on an assignment – an exploration of a social issue that we were personally familiar with through the genre of poetry.

Suicide came up as a topic; actually, it was a topic I’d chosen. I was familiar with suicidal feelings and depression. I explored my thoughts and emotions through song lyrics and poetry, including my own writings. In the classroom, we started discussing how and why suicide occurs, and one student asked: ‘How could someone choose to end their life?’ This led to a discussion about how to cope with suicidal feelings. And that’s when our teacher advised us to ‘run away’.

Give yourself a second chance

She told us that by running, or just getting away, we gave ourselves time to clear our heads, so that we could make decisions based on clear thoughts rather than impulse. She told us to just take a bus or a train and go somewhere different for a few hours, rather than decide impulsively that life was too hard.

Often when I’m able to, I run away. I never run far; I just get on a train and go somewhere for the day. As our teacher said: ‘Running isn’t for ever, but suicide on impulse is. There’s no turning back, no second chance; but if you run, you get exactly that – a second chance and time to think things through. And often they aren't as bad as you initially thought they were.’

What can I do now?