Handling Suicide

The student who is calling is seriously considering you as the last resort and hence it is important to be careful and helpful. A lot many suicides are impulsive while others are well planned. Impulsive students are likely to decide on the spur of the moment. Hence it is important to buy time.

Indicators for increased chance for suicide

  • Withdrawal behavior for few days
  • Mention of suicide repeatedly.
  • Suicide note
  • Disinterest in studies.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • A history of serious psychological problems.
  • A history of impulsive, poorly controlled and destructive behavior.
  • A history of continuing academic problems and learning difficulties.
  • Adjustment difficulties with family, school, peers etc.


  1. Periodically, keeping in touch over the phone will reduce the intent of ending their lives. Counseling needs to be practical and useful.
  2. Long lectures with a moralistic tone are not advised. These make the already depressed student guiltier and his intent stronger.
  3. The student should be advised to contact a professional counselor as soon as possible. If not efforts should be made to encourage him to meet his teachers or school counselors or talk to his parents. The more he talks about his problems to various people, he is likely to feel much better.
  4. A student who is severely depressed and expresses absolute helplessness about future is more at risk than a student who talks about casual things.
  5. No medicines should be prescribed over the phone.


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