In a study describing suicide attempters' approach to the health and social welfare authorities prior to a suicide attempt, it was found that one-fourth of the patients seeking help requested therapeutic consultations and only a few asked for medicinal treatment. Forty-four percent had taken newly prescribed medicine for the parasuicide. It is concluded that the availability of psychological support and a more restrictive prescription of medicine could have a preventive effect on parasuicidal behaviour. Patients suffering from depression and pain have more often than other patients been in contact with their general practitioner prior to the suicide attempt. Postgraduate courses for practitioners on depression diagnostics and suicidal behaviour are proposed as a measure in suicide prevention.