Suicidal thoughts

Various mental disorders and, for example, crises after losing a family member may involve suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are often caused by feelings the person finds unbearable. A negative feeling, such as fear, shame, disappointment or grief, has become too heavy to handle; the person will then start to look for a way out of the situation. Very often self-destructive thoughts are about the desire to lose the unbearable feeling, and not so much about wanting to die.

Even though it may seem there is no way out and talking to family and friends seems impossible, facing and handling the unbearable situation and the negative feelings is always possible with outside help. When the person is able to talk about the situation with somebody, for example a crisis worker, he/she no longer feels so alone and he/she is able to see the small steps needed to take to recover. In addition, a person suffering from self-destructive thoughts can receive effective help for mental disorders possibly causing the suicidal thoughts, such as undiagnosed depression.

In case you have suicidal thoughts, you can seek help in many different places: 

The National Crisis Hotline

The National Crisis Hotline allows you to discuss your thoughts, feelings and situation in life with a crisis worker or a trained volunteer. The phone conversation can help you to look into the future and see beyond your current situation in life. The crisis hotline also provides instructions and advice in seeking further help.

The number for the National Crisis Hotline is 01019 5202
On-call times are as follows:
Mon - Fri 9 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Sat 3 p.m. – 6 a.m.
Sun 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Local crisis centres

Crisis centres around Finland offer help and support to citizens in diffucult life situations.  In the crisis centers, you can confidentially discuss your life situation with a crisis worker or a trained volunteer.

On-duty health care centre or hospital

You can always seek assistance from the health care centre or on-duty hospital in your own neighbourhood. Each town has a hospital that is on call 24 hours a day. When seeking help from a health care centre or emergency room, you should let the personnel know you are having suicidal thoughts and need help. The need for help should not be downplayed. Help can be offered in the form of someone to talk to, hospitalisation, or medication for depression. Self-destructive thoughts are often the result of an undiagnosed or untreated depression. Read more about treatment for depression.

You can find your own on-duty hospital from the web page presenting the health care services of your town. See examples of health care services provided by different towns: Helsinki, Vantaa, Lahti. In addition, the 24-hour National Telephone Health Service 10023 can tell you where the nearest on-duty hospital is located. Some towns offer the chance to seek help from a psychiatric emergency clinic without a doctor’s referral.

Occupational health care, private health care centres, school and student health care

Health care services offer a wide range of help for persons with suicidal thoughts. For example, personal thoughts can be discussed with company nurses and doctors, or with the school nurse. Overcoming loneliness and sharing the personal situation with somebody opens up the chance to move forward from a seemingly impossible situation. In addition to conversations, health care professionals will help with further care, such as providing someone to talk to and beginning medical treatment.