Bereavement Support


DIGNITAS gives intensive consideration to the question of suicide- and suicide-attempt prevention. The fact that every year in Switzerland ten thousands of suicide attempts fail demands that we deal with this issue. Many people injure themselves badly and suffer long-lasting physical and often also psychological problems, with severe emotional and financial consequences for themselves, their next-of-kin and friends, and also for the public health system and the economy.

The suicide issue must be freed from the taboo surrounding it and discussed openly. In a similar way to the issue of abortion, an ideal solution will not be readily available. How- ever, it is our duty to search for the best answer to the problem. DIGNITAS always looks for opportunities to help people towards life instead of death.



UK: The Samaritans Phone: 116 123

UK: SOS Silence of Suicide Phone: 0300 1020 505

USA: National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Phone: 988

Australia: Lifeline Crisis Support Phone: 13 11 14

Further suicide prevention hotlines/contacts around the world (Link)


Gambling with Lives -  Support for families bereaved by gambling-related suicide



Media guidelines for reporting suicide, provided by the Samaritans (Link)



The World Health Organization WHO on suicide prevention (Link)

Cracking the taboo on suicide is the best means to prevent suicide attempts and deaths by suicide

TEDxZurich Salon "Talking Taboos"

In the 21st century, we have something better to offer than leaving our fellow human beings to jump in front of a train or shoot or poison themselves. Really caring forpeople means taking their wishes seriously, meeting them at eye level. People contemplating suicide deserve respect, care, compassion, taboo-free communication, and safe, legal end-of-life options. Not belittling them as vulnerable. Not labelling them as mentally ill and potentially incompetent. Not upholding the taboo on suicide and the end of life.

Suicide prevention by legalising assisted dying in NSW, Australia: "The mental health consequences of being denied a peaceful death can be devastating for both the person and their family and carers. In my opinion, the number of suicides in NSW could drop significantly if assisted dying was seen as part of assisted living" (Link to article in The Sydney Morning Herald)

Suicide attempt prevention in Switzerland:

In Switzerland – as in most countries – high-quality statistical data is available regarding the number of suicides. For various reasons, little has been known to date about the (far higher) number of suicide attempts. The "Groupe Romand Prévention Suicide", in cooperation with a number of emergency sites in the French-speaking part of the country, therefore set up a programme to monitor self-harm. The first insights of the programme were published in the "Swiss Medical Weekly" in February 2019.

Suicide and self-harm in Britain: researching risk and resilience. A study by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) informs self-harm and suicide prevention work through survey analysis and consultation with people with lived experience. (Link)

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) on suicide prevention (Link, with Action Plan and Report)

Swiss Federal Statistical Office: Assisted Suicide and Suicide in Switzerland 1998 - 2014 (PDF-file)

A hidden problem: suicide by terminally ill people

In 2012 there were 4,513 adult suicides in England. 332 of these individuals had a terminal illness. (Link)

Suicide attempt prevention in Asia:

In suicide (attempt) prevention, sometimes all it takes to save a life is a minute of your time. >> read more (Link)

An approach that combines research, knowledge sharing, and training for teachers, would help prevent suicide (attempts) among Hong Kong’s youth, amid academic and social pressure. By Paul Yip. >> read more (Link)

How to talk to and comfort suicide survivors, and better understand their anger and grief. By Anthea Rowan, in the “South China Morning Post” (Link)

Suicide- and Suicide Attempt Prevention in Greece: the NGO KLIMAKA runs a Suicide Prevention Centre in Athens, Greece and

"Suicide-Prevention must be complemented by Suicide-Attempt-Prevention"

Speech of Ludwig A. Minelli on this issue at the congress of the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies in Zürich (PDF)

Comparative chart: Accompaniments by DIGNITAS and EXIT, suicide and suicide attempts in Switzerland (PDF-file)

Suicide and suicide prevention on Wikipedia (Link)



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P.O. Box 17
8127 Forch

Telephone international
+41 43 366 10 70
Telephone within Switzerland
043 366 10 70
(Mon to Fri, 9:00 - 12:00 / 13:30 - 16:30 hours)

Fax international
+41 43 366 10 79
Fax within Switzerland
043 366 10 79