A suicide method is any means by which a person chooses to end their life. Suicide attempts do not always result in death, and a nonfatal suicide attempt can leave the person with serious physical injuries, long-term health problems, and brain damage.
Worldwide, three suicide methods predominate with the pattern varying in different countries. These are hanging, poisoning by pesticides, and firearms. Other common suicide methods include jumping from a great height, drug overdoses, and drowning.
Suicides are often impulse decisions that may be preventable by removing the means. Making common suicide methods less accessible leads to an overall reduction in the number of suicides. Some ways to do this include restricting access to pesticides, firearms, and known-used drugs. Other important measures are the introduction of policies that address the misuse of alcohol and the treatment of mental disorders. Gun-control measures in a number of countries have seen a reduction in suicides and other gun-related deaths.
In 1978, 913 followers of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple committed a mass suicide in northern Guyana at a site called, Jonestown. The charismatic leader of Jonestown, was Jim Jones, a preacher who set up the Peoples Temple in San Francisco and ultimately moved his followers to a more clandestine site in Guyana.