What is the best way to stop a person from committing suicide?

Need Help? Contact a suicide hotline if you need someone to talk to. If you have a friend in need of help, please encourage that person to contact a suicide hotline as well.

– Worldwide
In general, if you're outside the US, numbers for your country are here: Help a friend – Befrienders Worldwide. You can also e-mail jo@samaritans.org to talk to someone or go to http://www.samaritans.org/how-we… to speak with someone.

– United States
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Para espaƱol, llame al 1-888-628-9454.

– Canada
Locate a crisis centre in your area and at The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (link to: Find A Crisis Centre). For youth under 20, you can call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

– India
Visit AASRA or call their 24/7 helpline at +91-22-27546669 or +91-22-27546667. You can also e-mail aasrahelpline@yahoo.com.

– UK 116 123 (to reach the Samaritans in the UK)
– France (33) 01 46 21 46 46
– Australia 13 11 14

4 Replies to “What is the best way to stop a person from committing suicide?”

  1. First of all, you have to make sure he's actually contemplating suicide. Until a few years ago, therapists used to think that asking the suicide question would just plant the idea in the sufferers mind, However recently the trend has reversed. we now DO ask clearly and calmly if they are thinking of killing or harming themselvces if we sense suicidal ideation in the sufferer.

    The real question would be what would you do if he anwsers in the affirmative.

    • Can you inform the local authorities? Would this avert a potential disaster? are there any homeless shelters he could go to? does he have any friends/family? can they help?
    • Can you sit with the guy and hear him out? Even if you find that you are unable to help him can you show him that you're there for him so that he can share his pain (in a completely non-judgemental way). sometimes just saying calmly and gently that his use of the words razor blades etc has you concerned can make all the world of a difference.
    • if there's anything you shouldn't do, i would suggest to not launch into a "open your eyes, the world is really beautiuful, or listen-guy-you-need-to-man-up" speech, you may instinctively find that such activity would only serve to alienate him from you and may cause more harm than good.

    I wish you all the best in this difficult time, please let me know how this goes.

    P.S if this person is suffering from clinical depression he/she deserves a fighting chance to have this highly debilitating illness. if you're willing to help him please exhaust all the local authorities you can seek help from. i am NOT of the view that if he wants to die (as a result of his possible depressive state) he should go ahead. It could just be a symptom.

  2. You can't physically stop anyone – you need to somehow get them to stop *wanting* to die. Anything that furthers that aim is a good idea, but cliches and pleasantries are unlikely to make any difference.

    People do talk about suicide before they do it. Face the problem head on – don't pretend that he might mean something else – ask outright 'are you talking about killing yourself?' If he isn't, you're hardly going to have given him a new idea, but if he is then you can start getting to the bottom of why. Don't be judgemental, don't say trite things about how nice the world is or how things will get better. Listen and accept the way he feels but ask questions and get him to talk as much as possible about the options he sees. Suggest counselling. Suggest going to the doctor. Suggest anything you think might genuinely, rather than temporarily, help.

    If none of this works then it is not your fault at all. Some people do not want to live and that is their choice to make.

    More advice here: http://www.samaritans.org/your_e

  3. The way to prevent suicide is by addressing the causative distressors which lead to suicidality. 

    1.  Thwarted belongingness – he has no home, no safe shelter, no protection.  He needs this in order to begin to be able to develop or regain a basic elemental sense of security.  He doesn't even have a cave, for gawdssake, let alone a tribe of people to share support in serving as sentries, supports and safety.

    2. Perceived burdensomeness.  Exhibit A – the above answers which place you or someone else in an unequal beneficent or controlling position.  He has been made dependent on others and his worth and contributions have been devalued.  He has been made less than and an other – out-group member.

    3.  Learned capacity to act in a self extinguishing way.  He is exhibiting rehearsal behavior by thinking and speaking about the means to self extinguish. Because a peaceful and painless death via euthanizing has been denied to terminally sufffering people, they are forced to resort to means to end permanent suffering which are painful, frightening and deny the sufferer the support of others.  Total isolation.

    See Thomas Joiner.  Interpersonal Theory of Suicide.

  4. You did the best thing that can be done for someone who is feeling suicidal, you made contact with him. Reaching out like that is the best that you can do, be human, acknowledge him. You can't solve anyones problems, if they are real problems, they have to do that for themselves, but you can open a dialog that could help them find the answers.

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