Psychometric tests such as the Beck Depression Inventory or the Geriatric Depression Scale for older people are being used.

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Attitudes towards suicide slowly began to shift during the Renaissance.

John Donne's work Biathanatos, contained one of the first modern defences of suicide, bringing proof from the conduct of Biblical figures, such as Jesus, Samson and Saul, and presenting arguments on grounds of reason and nature to sanction suicide in certain circumstances.

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Suicide prevention efforts include limiting access to methods of suicide, such as firearms, drugs, and poisons, treating mental disorders and substance misuse, proper media reporting of suicide, and improving economic conditions.

The term is based upon a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, who (fearing the loss of a loved one) had planned to kill himself until his friends helped him out.

Suicide prevention is a term used for the collective efforts to reduce the incidence of suicide through preventative measures.There is discussion about the appropriateness of the term "commit", and its use to describe suicide.Those who object to the use of commit argue that it carries with it value-laden implications that suicide is a criminal, sinful or morally wrong act.In ancient Athens, a person who committed suicide without the approval of the state was denied the honors of a normal burial.The person would be buried alone, on the outskirts of the city, without a headstone or marker.There is growing consensus that it is more appropriate to use the merely descriptive "completed suicide", "took his/her own life", "died by suicide" or simply "killed him/herself" to refer to the act of suicide and this is reflected in mental health organisations' media guidance.