Handbook 2018

Visit our Suicide Prevention Handbook, revised 2018

The following information is taken from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Is it true that suicides are more frequent around holidays?
Suicides are not more frequent during the holidays. It appears that the rates are the highest in April, and the summer months, June and July.

It is often said that a suicidal person goes through a period where he seeks for help from other people. Does this then mean that it could be ultimately the fault of other people (because they don’t appear concerned enough) that one decides to kill him/herself?
Not a fair conclusion, although it could be a contributing factor in some cases, particularly with elderly, terminally ill people.

What is the biggest cause of suicide among college students?
Ninety-five percent are suffering from mental illness, usually depression. If depressed, substance abuse, anxiety, impulsivity, rage, hopelessness and desperation increase the risk.

Apart from talking to a suicidal person and encouraging him/her to go for counseling, what else can we do to prevent this?
Going with someone to the counselor often helps. If the person won’t listen to you, you may need to talk to someone who might influence him or her. Saving a life is more important than violating a confidence.

People often get uncomfortable when one discloses something as intimate and frightening as suicidal thoughts. What do you think can be done to reduce this stigma, either of suicidal people, or of depressive patients? Can people actually “change” their minds and accept someone who is suicidal?
As people recognize that suicidal behavior is the result of a medical condition not a sign of weakness or character defect, this stigma will change.