Suicidal individuals always consider taking their own lives since they always believe that that is the only way they can get rid of their pain completely. Some even do it because they think that they are not needed or are not loved by the people they care about (Berne, 2006). They, therefore, choose to be away from all that pain and shame by taking their lives. Often, there are signs that indicate that someone is planning to take his/her life. These signs include depression, death threats and the acquisition of harmful weapons and poison among other things (Silverman & Berman, 2014).
Though it is usually very difficult to convince people with suicidal minds otherwise, it is still possible. Once the negotiator reads the signs early enough, they can still manage to salvage the situation with appropriate intervention. Such intervention should, however, be very tactical as it may easily escalate the situation or even cause harm to the negotiator (Berne, 2006). It should be done in a way such that those planning to take their lives are not provoked to quickly get the means to kill themselves.
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One of the things the negotiator can do in order to prevent a person from committing suicide is taking their threats seriously. Most people with suicidal minds usually give threats before they finally take their lives. They may talk about death every time or even openly tell those around them that they are going to kill themselves because of some reasons. Some may even be seen reading materials that talk about death and suicide every time. Others simply keep quiet and show signs of depression and stress. Another group of people with suicidal minds may just silently acquire firearms or other weapons such as knives and even take their time to whet them. The negotiator ought to take such signs seriously and get closer to the people in question in order to establish the reason for their threats or depression (Berne, 2006). They can use both direct and indirect questions to know the cause of their threats and depression and any other signs of suicide. For example, they can ask them whether they are planning to take their lives and why they think that is the best option. They can also ask them about when they are planning to take their lives and the means of doing it. Once they have done this, they can then get rid of those means and ensure that they are on the lookout. This can be through removing knives, firearms, pills and ropes from the vicinity (Haerens, 2012).
Giving them time to talk and listening to them may also help the negotiator to easily persuade them not to take their lives. One of the major reasons people take their lives is they usually think that they are not loved and no one cares about them and their wellbeing. Therefore, listening to them will make them feel loved. Once they develop this feeling, it will be an easy task for the negotiator to convince them not to take their life. Allowing them to talk will also help the negotiator know where to touch when responding to them since they will air out all their feelings when they realize that someone is listening to them (Haerens, 2012). Besides, talking will help cool down their tempers and purge all their emotions. This can help to automatically get rid of the suicidal mind in them (Silverman & Berman, 2014).
Staying in touch with them may also play a major role in helping such people. Visiting them or even making phone calls and sending them text messages mean a lot to people that find themselves in such a crisis. The negotiator should ensure that they are not very far from the people with suicidal minds. Whenever the negotiator visits or calls them, he/she should always start by asking them how they are doing (Silverman & Berman, 2014). This will make them open up and reveal any strange feelings and wrong motives.
Therefore, people with suicidal minds should not be left to their fate because of the belief that nothing can be done to salvage the situation. Negotiators can do quite a lot to save them from death. The most important thing to do is to make them see how important life is and that they are very much loved by the people around them. They should also be shown that there are other ways of dealing with pain apart from taking their lives. Negotiators ought to be very good at reading the signs of suicide and dealing with them early enough and in a way that will not make them escalate and cause harm to the negotiators themselves and the people they are trying to help. They should be very close to them and make them open up and talk about their feelings. This way, chances of helping them will be very high.
- Berne, E. (2006). Suicide. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.
- Haerens, M. (2012). Suicide. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
- Silverman, M., & Berman, A. (2014). Suicide Risk Assessment and Risk Formulation Part I: A Focus on Suicide Ideation in Assessing Suicide Risk. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 44(4), 420-431. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12065