Assessing and Responding to Suicide Risk in Children and Young People: Understanding Views and Experiences of Helpline Staff

A Jess Williams, Juliane A Kloess, Chloe Gill, Maria Michail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

IntroductionSuicide is a key issue impacting children and young people. Helplines offer unique benefits, such as anonymity, varied communication avenues and low cost, which help to promote help-seeking behaviour. The aim of this study was to explore the views and experiences of helpline organisations of identifying, assessing, and managing suicide risk among children and young people.MethodsThirteen professionals from three UK-based helplines and online counselling services took part in semi-structured interviews between November 2020 and January 2021 via Zoom. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Thematic Analysis.ResultsThree superordinate themes were identified: (i) Starting conversations about suicide; (ii) Identifying and responding to "imminent" suicide risk; and (iii) Responses to suicide risk in relation to safeguarding.LimitationsRecruitment was limited by COVID-19 due to the demands needed from helplines at this time.ConclusionsOur findings highlight not only the different types and range of services helpline organisations offer to young people who might be at risk of suicide, but most importantly the distinct role they have in young people's help-seeking pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10887
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number17
Early online date1 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Suicide
  • Interviews
  • Counselling
  • Helplines
  • Thematic Analysis
  • Humans
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Qualitative Research
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • COVID-19

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