People who attempt suicide are asking for help. Every suicide attempt should be evaluated and most referred for treatment. Treatments are varied and depend on the diagnosis of the patient as well as the repetition of the act. Victims of suicide, 98 per cent of whom are psychiatrically ill, come from four overlapping groups: the untreated, the nonpsychiatrically treated, psychiatric inpatients and outpatients, and suicide attempters (sometimes emergency room patients). Preventive intervention is difficult, but it seems reasonable to start with this fourth group.