What to do when your friend talks about suicide

In Switzerland a young adult takes his or her own life about every three days. An innovative prevention campaign wants to encourage young people to seek help. (SRF,

This content was published on June 19, 2018 - 14:22

One evening, an 18-year-old man receives a phone call from a friend who is upset over a girl and says he wants to kill himself. He passes the phone to his father who is successful at calming the friend down.

This true story is one of the vignettes in a new suicide prevention campaign launched by Pro Juventute, a charitable foundation, supporting the rights and needs of children and youth. The campaign, “Talk, listen and get help” is also supported by the Swiss Federal Railways.

The online campaign encourages young people to speak up to their friends. It presents five first-hand stories to convince teenagers to address the subject of suicide when confronted with it.

The campaign includes an app that recognises posters placed throughout Switzerland and redirects users to a website with the personal stories.

It is estimated that around one in ten people in Switzerland attempt suicide at some point in their lives. Girls and women are more prone - making three to four times more attempts than boys or men. 

About 130 people under the age of 29 killed themselves annually between 2009 and 2015.

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