Ask a Therapist: How Do I Deal with Thoughts of Suicide?

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Written by Ashley Ertel, LCSW, BCD | Apr 28, 2021 | Originally posted on Talkspace Blog


The Talkspace Council of Experts are available each week to offer insight, guidance, and tips to answer your questions. Have a question for our therapists? Submit it to askatherapist@talkspace.com


Q: After watching the Oprah interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, I was sad to hear that Meghan had some serious mental health issues, and suicidal thoughts. I also sometimes think everyone would be better off without me, and I don’t know what to do. How do I deal with thoughts of suicide? – Ali


Dear Ali,


I am really proud of you for writing in to us. Whether you wrote to us out of hope that you would get the answer you need to keep pushing or out of hopelessness that things will never change so “why not;” it still was a step of courage to allow us all to share in your journey.


I, too, watched the Oprah interview. When they were talking about Meghan’s mental health, I instantly thought to myself, “wow — matters of the mind don’t escape anyone! No wealth, popularity, love, nor whatever else can buy us out of being human.” Having thoughts of death/dying and even of suicide are actually pretty common; feeling this way does not make you crazy, or weird, or selfish. It makes you a human in need of some love, hope, and support.

One thing that I appreciate about Meghan starting up this conversation is her ability to open the door for the rest of us to speak a bit more openly about the ugly side of the mind — the side that we often hide due to fear and shame and stigma and our own self-judgments; the side that makes us feel low and less-than and broken.


Ali, you are none of these things. And while I do not know you or the people in your life who very likely love you, I do know that your life has inherent value and that your presence on this Earth is deeply meaningful regardless of what your mind is saying or how many people are in your corner.


I hope that you are in a place where you are willing and able to seek out help to challenge the lies that your mind is telling you. Whether you reach out to a Talkspace therapist, someone else through your in-network insurance, or any of the other many resources out there, I hope that you do in fact reach out to someone so that you can start back down the path towards wellness.


Optional Resources to Include:

1. Talkspace

2. Crisis Resources

3. Free Black Therapy

4. Open Path Collective

5. If you have insurance, their website should list in-network mental health providers

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or are in a current state of suicidal crisis, I urge you to go to your local ER and seek immediate help.


You. Are. Worthy.


--Ashley