How to Prevent Suicide

Suicide is not in itself a psychiatric disorder, but it can be the tragic consequences of emotional and psychological problems. Every year young people who seem to have “everything to live for”—commit suicide. Ten times of those attempt to take their own lives.

If someone you know has talked about suicide, behaved unpredictably, or suddenly emerged from a severe depression into a calm, settled state of mind, don’t rule out the possibility that he or she may attempt suicide.

Helping to prevent suicide

  • Encourage your friend to talk. Ask concerned questions. Listen attentively. Show that you take the person’s feelings seriously and truly care.
  • Suggest solutions or alternatives to problems. Make plans. Encourage positive action, such as getting away for a while to gain a better perspective on a problem.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask whether your friend has considered suicide. The opportunity to talk about thoughts of suicide may be an enormous relief and, contrary to a longstanding myth, will not fix the idea of suicide more firmly in a person’s mind.
  • If you feel that you aren't making any headway, suggest that both you and your friend talk to an expert.
  • Stay close until you can get help. If you must leave your friend alone, negotiate first. Have your friend promise not to harm himself or herself without first calling you. If your friend does call, get to him or her as soon as possible. Call for help immediately.

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