Two guys sitting on steps talking

Talk about how you feel

Reaching out can change your life

Living with thoughts of suicide can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to deal with these feelings alone. Sharing the problem with a trusted friend or a family member can give you a different perspective on how you’re feeling and open the door for care and support.


Unfortunately, there are lots of people, especially men, who feel too nervous to reach out and talk about their feelings. The shame that is often associated with mental health issues is dangerous, it can hold people back from reaching out. We’re going to tackle the stigma and highlight why it’s important to talk about suicide.

Real men don’t experience suicidal thoughts

People who have thoughts of suicide are not ‘weak’ or less ‘masculine’. Thoughts of suicide are more common than people think, with 1 in 4 people experiencing them at some point in their lives. Suicide can affect anybody, from any background.


If you’re ready to reach out to somebody close to you, be sure to share your feelings with a trustworthy friend or family member. Talk to somebody who is understanding and open-minded – somebody who will listen to you.

I’m too embarrassed to tell my family or friends

It can be common for people experiencing suicidal thoughts to feel too embarrassed to open up to their family or friends, for fear of judgment or pity.


If you don't feel comfortable sharing your feelings with somebody that you know, support is still available to you. You can talk with your GP or have a confidential conversation with suicide support organisations like Samaritans or PAPYRUS HopelineUK.

I’m worried that people won’t take my feelings seriously

You might be worried that you’ll be accused of seeking attention when opening up about your feelings. Your GP, or a support service will listen very carefully to what you have to say and will provide information and help accordingly. Doctors and support workers are there to help you.

If you’re concerned that one of your family members or friends will react in this way, be sure to share your thoughts with somebody that you trust.

How do I start the conversation?

Reaching out to a friend or family member is an incredibly brave thing to do. If you’ve made the decision to do that, then the hardest part is already behind you.


When you share your feelings, the most important thing is to describe how you feel. You may not understand why you feel that way, or how to change it, so start with what you do know. It’s best to be direct and honest, as this allows the people supporting you to better understand what you’re going through and give you the help that you need.


As you’re sharing your feelings, they may react with surprise or sadness. This is a natural reaction, so do your best to stay on track with your conversation. Together, you’ll get through it.


What really matters is that you don’t bury your feelings deep inside you. Instead, try starting a conversation. Meet your friend on a park bench, or a family member in a café and invite their support. Talking about your feelings should ease your burden.


If you would feel more comfortable talking to someone from a support service, there are a range of options available to you. Click Get Help Now for details.