Life coaching has a mixed press, principally due to the fact the industry is largely unregulated, meaning anyone can call themselves a coach. However, that is not to say that coaching cannot be very useful. Tony Robbins is renowned for coaching world leaders and famous sportsmen, which is no bad endorsement of what coaching is capable of. The trick is to find a coach that you are comfortable working with, and helps you get the results you are looking for. If they don't, try someone else, as there are some very good coaches out there.
In the same way sports coaches help their teams/player to improve their performance, life coaches are there to help people reach their life goals. People can be likened to ships, who often set sail without knowing exactly where they want to go. It is no wonder people get lost.....
The idea of coaching is to help people work out what their goals are. What they really, really want in life (as many people never really work it out). The coach will then explore what the current situation is, and what problems the client has in reaching their goals. Next is to help the client explore options on how their goal can be achieved, and finally help to set a realistic and achievable action plan that the client is ready to commit to.
Coaching can be very powerful either by itself, or in conjunction with other initiatives mentioned in Addressing the problem. It is a very practical discipline. It does not focus on the client's past, or exploring the reasons for the client's problems - it is very focussed on helping clients take action to reach their goals, and making sure they stay motivated on the journey.
Many people with suicidal thoughts or impulses will be in that place due to very specific life events, and coaching can be helpful in taking practical actions to sort those issues, whilst maybe psychotherapy can explore the underlying feelings which meant that those issues led to suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Finding a coach can be done on the web. There are various bodies that award coaching qualifications, and a good starting point might be finding one, then asking them for a referral (possibly to one of their trainers if you can afford it).
In the UK, the Coaching Academy is the largest training organisation, and their referral service is available through their website www.the-coaching-academy.com/coaching-services/coaching-services.asp, or by ringing 0208 789 5676.
Tony Robbins also offers coaching services, and given the coaching is done by phone, these can be suitable for people in and out of the USA. For details, go to www.tonyrobbins.com/coaching/default.aspx or phone 888 834 9096 (if in the US) or 001 858 535 9900 (international).