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Patterns of Signs That Telephone Crisis Support Workers Associate with Suicide Risk in Telephone Crisis Line Callers

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Signs of suicide are commonly used in suicide intervention training to assist the

    identification of those at imminent risk for suicide. Signs of suicide may be particularly important

    to telephone crisis-line workers (TCWs), who have little background information to identify the

    presence of suicidality if the caller is unable or unwilling to express suicidal intent. Although signs of

    suicide are argued to be only meaningful as a pattern, there is a paucity of research that has examined

    whether TCWs use patterns of signs to decide whether a caller might be suicidal, and whether

    these are influenced by caller characteristics such as gender. The current study explored both

    possibilities. Data were collected using an online self-report survey in a Australian sample of

    137 TCWs. Exploratory factor analysis uncovered three patterns of suicide signs that TCWs may

    use to identify if a caller might be at risk for suicide (mood, hopelessness, and anger), which were

    qualitatively different for male and female callers. These findings suggest that TCWs may recognise

    specific patterns of signs to identify suicide risk, which appear to be influenced to some extent by the

    callers’ inferred gender. Implications for the training of telephone crisis workers and others including

    mental-health and medical professionals, as well as and future research in suicide prevention

    are discussed.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Hunt, T., Wilson, C., Caputi, P., Wilson, I. & Woodward, A. (2018). Patterns of Signs That Telephone Crisis Support Workers Associate with Suicide Risk in Telephone Crisis Line Callers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (2), 235-1-235-13.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85041289046

Start Page


  • 235-1

End Page


  • 235-13

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Switzerland

Abstract


  • Signs of suicide are commonly used in suicide intervention training to assist the

    identification of those at imminent risk for suicide. Signs of suicide may be particularly important

    to telephone crisis-line workers (TCWs), who have little background information to identify the

    presence of suicidality if the caller is unable or unwilling to express suicidal intent. Although signs of

    suicide are argued to be only meaningful as a pattern, there is a paucity of research that has examined

    whether TCWs use patterns of signs to decide whether a caller might be suicidal, and whether

    these are influenced by caller characteristics such as gender. The current study explored both

    possibilities. Data were collected using an online self-report survey in a Australian sample of

    137 TCWs. Exploratory factor analysis uncovered three patterns of suicide signs that TCWs may

    use to identify if a caller might be at risk for suicide (mood, hopelessness, and anger), which were

    qualitatively different for male and female callers. These findings suggest that TCWs may recognise

    specific patterns of signs to identify suicide risk, which appear to be influenced to some extent by the

    callers’ inferred gender. Implications for the training of telephone crisis workers and others including

    mental-health and medical professionals, as well as and future research in suicide prevention

    are discussed.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Hunt, T., Wilson, C., Caputi, P., Wilson, I. & Woodward, A. (2018). Patterns of Signs That Telephone Crisis Support Workers Associate with Suicide Risk in Telephone Crisis Line Callers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (2), 235-1-235-13.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85041289046

Start Page


  • 235-1

End Page


  • 235-13

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Switzerland