SUICIDE ASSESSMENT AND NEGOTIATION 4
SuicideAssessment and Negotiation
Suicideis a major cause of deaths in several western countries. In someinstances, it exceeds the deaths caused by motor vehicles accidentsannually. Often, many countries spend significant amount of money onsafer roads, but very little attention and awareness on suicideprevention and educating people about making essential life choices.Typically, people attempt suicide to evade unbearable psychologicalpain that emanates from various problems. People who attempt suicideare often distressed to an extent that they are unable to see theneed of living anymore. Most suicidal people show warnings hoping tobe rescued. As such, it is essential to assess suicidal thoughts andseek means of preventing people from committing suicides (Jobes,2006).
Thereare various factors that help a negotiator to identify whether aperson is suicidal. One of the greatest and most useful predictorthat a person is likely to commit suicide is the direct verbalwarning. Many people who commit suicide may at one point mention thatthey are willing to end their own life. The other major indicatorthat a person may commit suicide is the presence of past events.Approximately 80 percent of people who have completed suicide had aprior attempt. The clients with the greatest suicidal rates are thosewith a history in at least one attempt. Depression, likewise, isanother crucial indicator that one may commit suicide. The suiciderate for those with major depression is twenty times the generalpopulation. People who feel hopeless have a high likelihood of takingaway their lives. Depression and the feeling of hopelessness areclosely associated. Intoxication is also a great contributor tosuicide. Several people who commit suicide have a history ofalcoholism and other forms of drug abuse. Passing through a stressfulevent may also aggravate suicidal thoughts. For instance, sexualassault or loss of a loved one may be a precursor to suicide.Similarly, lack of sense of belonging is another factor that cannotbe ignored with regard to suicide attempt (Jobes, 2006).
Anegotiator can successfully prevent person from committing suicideand feeling good about their lives by showing care and concern to theclients. The suicide negotiator should try to build a goodrelationship with the victim and establish a ground for negotiating.He/she should make the clients feel comfortable and ask them in apersuasive way to talk about what is causing them the emotionaltrauma leading to suicidal thoughts. Afterwards, he should listenpatiently to the story of the client before engaging in a furtherconversation. A negotiator should then try to show genuine concernfor the clients. There is need to conduct regular visits to the homeof the client, have long and frequent sessions, and use goodcommunication approach of caring. A negotiator should provide a soundenvironment for interacting freely so as to make it easy for clientsto speak about their emotions without any kind of fear. In suchsituations, the negotiator should try to convince the suicidalvictims that their lives are worth living and that people cares aboutthem. He/she should make clients feel good about them and appreciatelife. Since some victims may have suffered traumatic events, thenegotiator should be sensitive to the needs of the clients for asuccessful mission (Jobes, 2006).
Suicidecan be prevented by applying early intervention and seeking theattention of well informed and educated negotiators. It is, thus,essential for all people to learn about the signs of a suicide anddeal with them as soon as possible. This would help in fighting oneof the major causes of deaths in many countries.
Jobes,D. A. (2006). Managingsuicidal risk: A collaborative approach.New York: Guilford Press.