Background: Suicidal behaviour, primarily through self-poisoning, is a major public health problem among youth in Sri Lanka.
Methods: This article describes a qualitative study of student perspectives on suicidal behaviour and its prevention. Focus groups were held with students 17—20 years of age. A discussion of the perceived causes of suicidal behaviour provided the context for discussing prevention efforts.
Conclusion: Participants identified pathways to suicidal behaviour and emphasized experiential aspects and the variability of fatal intent. Suggestions for prevention tended to emphasize the strengthening of community-oriented actions in order to better realize lethal means restrictions.