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Wherever you are, whatever the problem, you're not alone. Email, phone support and help for suicide, depression, and other problems are right here. Worldwide list of Befriender and Samaritan telephone helplines.

There is hope and a way out of despair and feeling suicidal. Here are the stories of two girls:

Anne-Laure's story

Anne-Laure, from Paris, left a 13-page suicide letter in her hotel room before throwing herself into the River Thames in London, in April. She wrote, "I am going to kill myself because I have buck teeth. I will fully put an end to my fears and exhaustion. I now only have one fear, to mess it up and wake in a hospital room in more despair."

The policeman who dealt with the case, said afterwards, "It is a complete mystery to her family and friends why she did this. She had a perfectly normal life in France. You don't know what goes through the minds of young women; they have an image of perfection and take it to the extreme. Her teeth did not stick out much."

Lucy's story

"All I wanted was to die. My sadness was too great for me to bear. I had the pills near me - more than enough to kill myself. Then I realized that was the selfish way out. I would make my family even more sad. Our family had suffered a terrible tragedy. I had to hang on to life. I asked God to help me.

Gradually, I found I was changing. Dying wasn't my desire. I couldn't care whether I lived or died. That lasted for a while. Then, one day, I realized I wanted to live. I had everything to live for. That was a wonderful feeling. God had helped me through."

Many of us have known, maybe often, maybe sometimes, the feeling that it would be better to be dead. And we all know friends or family who have killed themselves.

If you are feeling desperate, if you feel that life has no meaning, if the pain of continuing to live seems more than the pain of dying, please keep reading. (If you are looking at this section just out of interest, also keep reading, so that you will know how to help your friends when they are desperate.)

We do want to help you. We are not suggesting that we have lots of quick easy answers.
But first, we suggest five reasons that it is better for you to live. Then we give advice on how to get help, including by email.

Five reasons not to kill yourself.

1) What will it do to your family and friends?

Every person's death affects many people. Those most affected are those closest to them - friends and family. A suicide is even worse. Your family will feel terrible guilt that it was their fault, as well as normal sadness. Many families never recover from the effect of someone's suicide. If you destroy yourself, you may destroy your family too.

2) Remember the past

When you are depressed, it is hard to remember the past, and how things were better. But think - there was a time when you were happier, when life was better, when life seemed worth living. Such a time can happen to you again.

3) What is on the other side of death?

Every religion believes that there is still an existence after dying. Many people who have no religion also believe this is so. And almost everyone knows that there are bad things that may happen to us after dying, as well as the possibility of good things. This is a dangerous journey to take. How do you know what will happen to you after you die. If you are not sure, do not make the journey!

4) You have a purpose

All of us are placed on this earth for a purpose. To walk out of that is a terrible waste.

5) The most important reason of all

God made you. He loves you. He understands how you feel. When no one else understands how you feel, He does. He sent Jesus to die for you. He created you for a purpose. He can bring you through depression, or any other problem you may have. You do not need to be alone. He can help you in your loneliness. God really wants to speak to you. It is as if He is saying:

"My dear one, You are not alone. I am with you. I have loved you since before you were born. I was with you though all the hurt and pain. Only I understand how you feel inside. I am with you. I will go through this time with you. I can bring you through it. Ask Me to help you. I have a wonderful plan for your life.

Search for someone to help

Jesus said "I will never let you go." Ask 'Who else can help me?'

If you are considering how you want to die, get help TODAY. You MUST talk to someone NOW.

A friend, a nurse, doctor or health worker - perhaps at your place of work or study. A religious advisor.

Telephone or email a Samaritan or Befriender in your area. Samaritan and Befriender offices around the world, offer a telephone advice service. Look in your phone book under 'Crisis'. You can also contact them by email at in UK, and Befrienders in many countries around the world. They are completely confidential - they will never tell anyone else what you have shared with them They say, "Whatever you are going through, we will go through it with you."

One more thing

It may be that one reason you are depressed, is because of things that have been done to you by other people, which have hurt you inside very much. If this has happened, there is one way to release the power that those things have over you. It is to forgive those who have hurt you! It may be very difficult. Maybe you can only do it with God's help. But it can set you free from the past.

And if you have hurt other people, ask them to forgive you. Speak to them, or write to them today! Also find out how God can forgive you.

More about the way God can help you

"I know this. Death, life, angels, rulers, things happening now, things that will happen, high things, low things, nothing else in all the world can come between us and God's Love in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

"He (Jesus) is forever able to save the people He leads to God, because He always lives to speak to God for them." (Hebrews 7:25 CEV)

Note: after each Bible quote, you will see a name followed by numbers. The name is the name of the book within the Bible, and the first number is the chapter, then the other numbers are the verses in that chapter. This reference system makes it easy to find any part of the Bible.

You can also get help at Women Today Magazine and Men Today Online and email their support address.