One of the main ways in which a suicidal person can be helped is through counseling. As a matter fact, every person who shows suicidal tendencies should be taken through a comprehensive counseling process. In the course of the counseling sessions, the counselor will get to know what exactly is driving the person to have suicidal ideas. It may turn out to be something that appears ‘minor’ to other people. You may, for instance, be looking at a fellow who went to the Premier credit card sign in page, logged in, and found that his credit card bill is overwhelming. So he ends up viewing suicide as a viable solution to his messed up financial solution. That may look like a minor problem to most people. But for that particular person, it becomes such a big issue that he views suicide as a possible solution. People are different, and this is one of the first things you learn early on in your counseling career. In all cases, it is important to understand what exactly is driving the person to view suicide as possible solution to his problems: the trigger as well as the ‘real’ underlying issue.

Having understood what is driving the person to view suicide as a possible solution to his problems, the next step is to get him to explore other (better) solutions. The most important thing here is to first get the person to understand that suicide is not a ‘real solution’. The problems he is running from would still be there, even after the suicide. And by the way, there is no way of knowing what happens ‘on the other side of the curtain’.

When counseling a suicidal person, it is important to get him to understand that he matters in the world, in whichever small way. He has a niche, that can’t quite be filled by any other person. The objective is to ensure that the person never views suicide as a possible solution any time in the future. So it is not just a question of dealing with the present situation, but also dealing with the future.

Of course, suicide is often a complication from depression. This means that the underlying depression has to be treated, in order to address the problem comprehensively. Thus, counseling may not, by itself, be adequate to get the person to overcome the suicidal thoughts completely. He may, on top of counseling, require some psychiatric medication. But the medication too, on its own, is also often inadequate. It usually has to be used alongside psychotherapy (counseling) in order to get the desired results. Thus, counseling is pretty much an indispensable part of treatment for people who are suicidal.