Our Person Tracing service is used for many different reasons, but one of the most common is to find estranged family members. Clients come to us with a last known address, an old phone number and a name, but people often forget that each of these clients has a story.
When family members don’t stay in touch, there’s often a root cause that needs to be addressed before they can have a positive reunion.
At RevealPI, we’re dedicated to supporting our clients to the very end of their case. We never just give you what we’ve found and send you on your way. Having the courage to contact someone after years apart is hard, especially if there’s a difficult history.
Cut Off During a Mental Health Crisis
Recently we had a client who wanted to regain contact with her family. They had cut her off years before, after her behaviour had become volatile and problematic. This client had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, a mental illness which causes a person to experience periods of severe depression and periods of mania. Unlike mood swings, extreme episodes can last for several weeks or more, and quickly rocket from one to the other.
A depressive episode can lead to overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, which may lead to suicidal thoughts. During these episodes, a person may be diagnosed with clinical depression before a manic episode occurs.
During a manic episode, a person may feel very happy, have seemingly endless energy and start making ambitious plans. However enjoyable this sounds, it quickly spirals into feeling out of control. It can lead to irresponsible spending habits, not eating or sleeping, quickly becoming annoyed and angry. Some people with bipolar disorder may experience symptoms of psychosis during a manic episode.
It may be that our client was experiencing a manic episode during the time her family cut her off. Family members are not always able to understand or cope with the unpredictable actions and responses of those with bipolar disorder.
Searching for Support
When the client contacted us, she was distraught and in need of support. She wanted to find her family and talk to them.
We were able to get in touch with the client’s mother and sister, but sadly they did not want contact. Where we are asked to do Person Tracing, we do not pass on anybody’s details without their consent. But to leave this client with nothing would have been counter to our ethical standards. There was still more we could do.
We offered the client and her family a mediation service. With their agreement, we acted as intermediaries. We delivered a message from the client to her family so that she could reach out. When they responded, we arranged for the family to call the client from a withheld number. During this call, the client could explain her situation, and the family helped her to get the support she needed. Both the client and her family were protected from entering an unpredictable situation, and the client received help and support with her mental health.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation, sometimes called arbitration, is a process of intervention which aims to resolve a dispute. In mediation, an objective third party facilitates meaningful communication between two parties. It is a common way to resolve workplace disputes, where communication between colleagues has broken down, and is used in family law, where separated partners need to discuss arrangements for their children without going to court.
Mediation may involve a discussion with a third party present to keep the conversation on track. Alternatively, the mediator may act as a messenger between the two parties, understanding the point of view of each and relaying that to the other in order to find a resolution.
The goal of mediation is to achieve a concrete outcome that is good for both sides. Both sides have control of the final outcome, which may include:
- Sending important details or documents
- Help with family affairs
- Ongoing communication
- Conditions for rebuilding the relationship
- Or in cases of estranged married couples, agreeing to divorce
3 things to know about Reveal PI Estrangement Mediation Services
- We never give out someone’s details without consent
At RevealPI we have a duty of care to all those we interact with. When we locate someone as part of our Person Tracing services, we contact them first to let them know our client is looking for them. In some cases, the person does not wish to be found, for whatever reason.
It is in these situations that we may start discussing a mediation.
- Mediation is a choice
Mediation is something to which both parties must agree. We can’t force anyone to accept a phone call from a withheld number, or to respond to a message.
What we can do is explain the situation and why somebody wants to find them. It may be that they need help with family matters, or just want to reconnect. In most cases, explaining the reasons for person tracing can help people come around.
- Mediation is Confidential
As with all of our cases, we do not share anything discussed in mediation with anyone not involved. We operate discreetly, keeping the details of cases out of emails or letters, so that our clients have confidence that their investigation will remain private.
Bringing People Together Safely
Our mediation service is designed to protect the wellbeing and mental health of all those involved, both the client and the person for whom they’re searching.
Where clients are vulnerable, reconnecting with estranged family members can help them get back on their feet. They may only need someone who knows them to listen and offer emotional support, or they may need more concrete help that is not easy to access through statutory channels, such as help managing their money or house. Reuniting people with those they’ve lost touch with can:
- Reduce the impact of isolation
- Improve their sense of self-worth
- Help them gain confidence in asking for help
Where people have distanced themselves for reasons of extreme hurt or even abuse, reunions can be dangerous. When asking someone to come back into a client’s life, we as investigators should be aware that we are asking them to enter a vulnerable position and trust the person again.
It is for this reason that we offer Mediation. As a flexible conflict-resolution tool, mediation can be used for as long or as little as people choose to rebuild a relationship in a safe environment, or to hear someone out before making a decision on continuing contact.
RevealPI & BHSF: Mental Health Support Offer
As we build our mental health awareness as an agency, we have partnered with BHSF to offer all of our clients access to BHSF’s mental health services. During and after an investigation, we are now able to offer clients a soft referral towards free, confidential mental health support, simply by passing on a phone number. We hope that this removes barriers to getting help after undergoing a stressful experience, without obliging anyone to take it up. The available support ranges from telephone counselling to in-depth psychological assessments from BHSF.