Evidence from around the world suggests that people reach out for help in the months prior to a suicide. Many cities have developed telephone help lines for those under stress and considering suicide.
In the two or three months prior to attempting or completing suicide, somewhere between 60% to 80% of people reach out to a health professional. This suggests that the family doctor is a valuable resource in the 'frontline' of suicide prevention. The Australian [Keep Yourself Alive] programme encourages general practitioners (GPs) to recognize the warning signs shown by young people at risk of suicide. The training team holds workshops and has produced a multimedia pack as a training resource for more than 3,000 Australian GPs, increasing their awareness of the mental and emotional health of young people and the methods by which they can be helped. They are also helped in their care for families affected by suicide -- particularly important since GPs are often the only health professional around to assist a grieving family in rural areas, where their is a much higher suicide rate.