One serious issue for therapists in "helping people at risk of suicide" is the quality and depth of their informed compassionate empathy, including aptitude, education/qualifications, training and effective hands-on experience. I'd be interested to learn from colleagues about how well they feel that they meet these criteria - I would argue they're necessary but perhaps not sufficient - for working effectively with souls at risk of self destruction. Why not sufficient? For the most obvious yet largely intractable of factors: establishing connection with these almost invariably isolated souls who often suffer unbearably yet in silence behind a mask of 'normality'.
Helping theory has demonstrated beyond any doubt that I cannot help a fellow human without establishing and maintaining an effective therapeutic relationship. I recommend the late Dr Israel Orbach's approach (article available on request from me or your local library) "Therapeutic empathy with the suicidal wish: Principles of therapy with suicidal individuals. Israel Orbach. American Journal of Psychotherapy; 2001; 55, 2; 166-184. Read what Dr Orbach says about his 'uncompromised confrontation of self-destructiveness' and how you can learn to work compassionately and more effectively with the client at serious risk.
One final point re the November 2015 Contact seminar. One attendee describing himself as a psychiatrist, stressed the individualistic - I would use the term idiosyncratic - nature of human suicidality, defined as 'tendency towards intentional self-destruction'. Each of us is a unique representation of the species, and worthy of inestimable respect as such.
I plan to complete and submit the lengthy consultation document on the future of the Lifeline service to the DHSSPSNI. At the outset, I cannot envisage the NI Ambulance Service as a suicide prevention organisation. Further, my view is that bottom line GB government austerity considerations appear to hover like a thunderstorm over the current Contact-managed, much admired, effective and efficient life-saving Lifeline service. I shall argue accordingly in my submission.
YOU WANT TO HELP? THEN GET THE LIFELINE CONSULTATION DOCUMENT COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED IN TIME - BY THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2015 LATEST.