Suicide means that someone ends their life on purpose, often as a result of depression or other mental illness.

How to Help Yourself Through Suicidal Feelings

If you are having suicidal feelings, there are some immediate actions that can be helpful:

  1. Promise not to do anything right now.

Remember that just because you feel like killing yourself, does not mean that you need to do it immediately.


  1. Avoid drugs and alcohol.

Suicidal thoughts can become even stronger if you have taken drugs or alcohol. It is important not to use non-prescription drugs or alcohol if you are feeling hopeless or considering suicide.

  1. Make your home safe.

Remove things that you could use to hurt yourself, including pills, knives, razors, or firearms. If you are unable to do so, try to find a place where you will be safe.

  1. Don’t keep suicidal feelings to yourself.

One of the most important steps if you are having suicidal feelings is to share them with someone you trust. It may be hard to open up to someone else, but there are many people who want to support you during this difficult time. You could reach out to a friend, family member, counsellor, or a crisis line (see resources in this pamphlet).

    5. Utilize Resources

Speak to a family doctor to rule out a medical cause for your symptoms. Seeking counselling may also help you understand and address the factors that contribute to and maintain depression. USask students can go to the Student Wellness Centre for medical advice and counselling.


How to Support Someone Who Appears to Be Having Suicidal Feelings

It’s important to know that if you're considering suicide, you’re not alone. Based on a recent Usask survey: • 10% of students were suicidal in the past 12 months • 24% have seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives

When someone says they are thinking about suicide, or says things that sound as if the person is considering suicide, it can be very upsetting. You may be unsure of what to do to help, or if your intervention might make the situation worse. If someone behaves in away or says something that makes you think they are considering suicide, taking action is always the best choice. Here’s some steps you can take:

  1. Look for warning signs.

You can’t always tell when a loved one or friend is considering suicide. But here are some common signs:

  • Talking about suicide (for example, saying “I’m going to kill myself”, “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
  1. Ask questions.

The first step to find out whether the person is in danger of acting on suicidal feelings. Be sensitive but direct, by asking questions such as:

  • Are you thinking about suicide?
  • Have you ever thought about suicide before, or tried to harm yourself?
  • Have you thought about how or when you’d do it?

Asking about suicidal thoughts will not push someone into doing something self-destructive. In fact, offering an opportunity to talk about feelings may reduce the risk of acting on suicidal feelings.

      3.Encourage help-seeking.

If a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide, he or she should seek professional help, even if suicide isn’t an immediate danger. You are not responsible for preventing someone from taking their life, but your intervention may help the person see that other options are available to stay safe and get treatment. Here are some things you can do to:

  • Encourage the person to call a suicide hotline number
  • Never promise to keep someone’s suicidal feelings a secret
  • Remove potentially dangerous items from the person’s home, if possible
  1. Know how to react.

If someone talks about suicide or you want to talk to someone about what they are feeling, it can be overwhelming. There are some reactions that are more helpful than others when talking about suicide.

       5. Consider Taking a workshop to learn suicide intervention skills.  Contact Student Affairs & Outreach for more information.


Learn how to help people who have thoughts of suicide. A three-hour workshops. Workshops offered throughout the term. $15 for students.

Mental Health First Aid

Workshops are offered over two days or four half days. $40 for students.


Look for offerings of the two day Applied Suicide intervention Skills Training on campus


Apps and Online Courses:

  • Kognito: online suicide prevention training
  • org free online courses, including suicide awareness & prevention
  • Hope by CAMH suicide prevention app
  • Be Safe app to help with safety planning

Did You Know?

  • Asking about suicidal thoughts or feelings won’t push someone into doing something self-destructive. In fact, offering an opportunity to talk about feelings may reduce the risk of acting on suicidal feelings.
  • Most suicidal people don’t want to die- they just want their pain to end.
  • People thinking of suicide find ways to invite help from others. These invitations are often missed, dismissed, or avoided.
  • The best way to find out if someone is thinking of suicide is to ask directly.
  • Avoiding direct and open talk about suicide is not helpful and could be dangerous.
  • Males make up 79% of all suicides, while women are more prone to having suicidal thoughts.
  • Suicide is often perceived as a problem among young people, but men over the age of 80 have the highest suicide rate in Canada.
  • More than 90% of suicide victims have a diagnosable psychiatric illness.
  • Depression is the most treatable mental illness with a 60-80% recovery rate using talk therapy and medication in combination.
  • Anyone could have thoughts of suicide.
  • Suicide can be prevented. All persons with thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously.

Immediate Help

If you know or think that someone has attempted suicide:

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Call 911, or if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room
  • Get help from a trained professional as quickly as possible. The person may need to be hospitalized until the suicidal crisis has passed.

Additional Resources

Emergency services

It may be helpful to save emergency numbers to your cell phone in case you ever need immediate assistance or support.

Canada Suicide Prevention Service

Canada Suicide Prevention Service is a nationally available, regionally delivered suicide prevention services that is available to anyone thinking about or affected by suicide.

Call toll-free anytime at 1-833-456-4566 or text between 4pm - 12am ET at 45645.

Royal University Hospital

The psychiatric emergency department offers emergency services from psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service

Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service (SCIS) provides comprehensive crisis response services to individuals, partners, or families either over the phone, in a SCIS office, or in the home.

Phone: 306-933-6200

On Campus Resources

Student Wellness Centre

Provides non-urgent and urgent mental health assessment and counselling services to U of S students, their spouses and children.

Place Riel Student Centre Saskatoon 3rd & 4th floor.
Phone: 306-966-5768
Book online:
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

Student Affairs & Outreach

A team of Social workers responsible for mental health intake, student outreach, early alerts, and crisis response.

Place Riel Student Centre 3rd floor

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