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Hour Of Negotiations Saves Man From Committing Suicide Off Valletta Bastions

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Timely intervention from a mental health crisis team and the police helped save a man from killing himself by jumping off the Valletta bastions earlier today.

Psychiatrist Mark Xuereb, who leads Crisis Resolution Malta, told talk.mt that his team was called in to help save the man and, after an hour of negotiations, managed to convince him not to kill himself.

He said the man was a foreign national with social problems.

“Well done to the police for coming instantly so we could go there as a team,” Xuereb said.

“This clearly shows that while chats, emails and helplines are important, there must also be a crisis team, equipped with emergency vehicles, and a crisis centre right next door to Mater Dei to help these people.”

He also called for a national anti-suicide prevention strategy, drafted by a national committee that would include people who have experienced suicidal thoughts.  

Footage shared by Times of Malta of the man pacing along the bastions as a crowd underneath him egged him on to jump went viral today, with several people – including leading politicians – condemning the inhumanity of the commenters.

Xuereb urged people to show compassion for the man and others facing similar situations.

“Imagine he was your son or your husband? Do you know what this man is going through? I believe we truly need to have a heart and a social conscience. Let’s be a country that encourages life and not encourage people to end their lives. Let’s choose life over death.”

“Maybe we cannot prevent every single suicide but I urge these people to speak to a mother who has lost her daughter or a woman who has lost her husband. We need to give these people a voice.”

Do you think Malta should improve its mental health services? 

READ NEXT: ‘Where’s The Compassion,’ Says Pawlu Borg Bonaci To Crowd Encouraging Man To Commit Suicide In Valletta

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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