We all experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm from time to time—they’re part of being human. But when difficult emotions linger for long periods, when it feels hard to do things you usually enjoy or that are important to you, or when feelings of hopelessness or thoughts of self-harm arise, it’s time to get support. Pay attention to the warning signs, and know where to reach out for help.
How to tell whether you or someone you love is in crisis
While it is complicated, knowing the warning signs can help you find support and possibly save a life.
According to the Black Dog Institute, the following behaviours may be signs someone is thinking about taking their life:
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Loss of interest in things
- Self-harming (e.g. cutting)
- Putting affairs in order, giving things away, saying goodbyes, writing suicide notes or goodbye letters
- Risky behaviour (e.g. consuming excessive alcohol or other drug use)
- Mentioning or joking about suicide, death or dying
- They see themselves as a burden
- They can’t see a way out of their situation
- They're feeling a sense of hopelessness
Suicidal thoughts or actions indicate extreme distress and should not be ignored. Get help as soon as possible if the above behaviours describe you or someone you love.
Mental Health Resources
Experts emphasise that getting help quickly is crucial to anyone in crisis and calling a helpline like the ones listed below can be a powerful first step. There are many organisations across New Zealand that provide support and education for people with mental illness and their families and carers. Some of these are listed below and all providing 24/7 support.
Call or text 1737
‘1737, need to talk?’ is a national mental health and addictions helpline number and is for anyone feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or needs advice on mental health or addictions issues.
0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Lifeline Aotearoa provides crisis counselling support for people suffering from mental health illnesses, abuse, bullying and loneliness.
0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Suicide Crisis Helpline provides support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal and is operated by counsellors who have undergone advanced suicide prevention training. Samaritans 0800 726 666 Samaritans offer support to anyone who may be feeling depressed, lonely, or even be contemplating suicide.
0800 726 666
Samaritans offer support to anyone who may be feeling depressed, lonely, or even be contemplating suicide.