Is suicide a way of leaving the pain or is it an attempt to go someplace else? This may seem like a small semantic point, but it seems to me it would make a huge difference in trying to prevent suicide.
If suicide, I think in the more “classic” view, occurs because an individual has “run out of other choices” in how to deal with the pain (psychic and/or physical) they are experiencing, it would seem to be “easier” to deal with, prevent. With that sort of thought process behind it, the task would be to expand their choices or demonstrate to the individual that there are other choices in dealing with their life, their pain. While this likely would be difficult in many cases, it would be possible because their focus is already here and now.
If however, suicide is a choosing of a new way of being, a beginning of a journey to somewhere better, it would be much more difficult to address, to prevent. Their focus is “beyond”, not here. It would be difficult to convince an individual that the “next place” is not/may not be better. Again you would work to expand their options in the here and now, their reasons for staying, but you would be working to convince them that there isn’t a better way of being, at the same time, unless they “remake” the here and now into that way of being.
Granted they would be getting other issues addressed/worked on, as well, and likely medications to rebalance their neurotransmitter milieu, but the reasoning behind their choice of suicide would always be the 400 lb. elephant in the room.
More a rumination than anything, but I think pretty thought provoking, particularly as we go forward with work to put suicide prevention programs in place. Also worth thinking about if your life has been touched by suicide.