What obsession can do to someone

Guide to mental health in the canton of Bern

Seek the conversation

In psychological crises, some people think of suicide and make appropriate hints. This triggers great uncertainty and fear in the environment. Should we talk about it? Yes, because by talking the subject is no longer a myth, it becomes real. Many people who attempt suicide do not necessarily want to die; rather, they want to escape an overwhelming emotional state. If you or someone you know is in such a situation, you should seek help: call the psychiatric emergency, speak to a professional, family member, friend or friend.


If you are looking for a conversation with a data subject, the following questions might be helpful:

  • What happened that you can't take it anymore?
  • Would you tell me how it came about?
  • How long have you been feeling like this?
to overview


When you talk to someone who is mentally ill, who wants to take his own life, it is helpful if your basic attitude is empathetic, calm, attentive, and not threatening.

You can

  • address the person
  • to take time
  • listen quietly and respectfully
  • Show understanding, take the person seriously
  • talk about the problem
  • speak honestly and openly
  • respond to the person's feelings
  • do not overwhelm yourself and call in professionals

Not recommendable are

  • hasty consolations
  • Admonitions, instructions, advice
  • Downplaying the problem
  • comment, analyze
  • develop fast activities
  • accept abrupt termination of the conversation

"The end was the beginning - of life after the attempted suicide", a documentary by Andrea Pfalzgraf, Swiss television, 2014.