Level of suicidal ideation among callers to the Danish suicide prevention helpline

Objective: The aim of this study was to: (1) determine the proportion of callers to a national helpline for suicide prevention who were evaluated to be at risk of suicide; (2) identify characteristics associated with being at risk; (3) determine the level of suicidal ideation among callers, as measured by a clinical scale, and compared to […]

Effects if a comprehensive police suicide prevention program

Background: Police suicides are an important problem, and many police forces have high rates. Montreal police suicide rates were slightly higher than other Quebec police rates in the 11 years before the program began (30.5/100,000 per year vs. 26.0/100,000). Aims: To evaluate Together for Life, a suicide prevention program for the Montreal police. Methods: All 4,178 members of the Montreal […]

The judgment of future suicide-related behavior: Helpline counselors’ accuracy and agreement

Background: Judging whether a youth is at risk for suicide-related behavior (SRB) is considered an extremely challenging task. There are only few studies of helpline counselors, and little is known about their ability to accurately determine the level of risk for SRB. Aims: To examine whether helpline counselors can agree on judgments of risk for SRB, and […]

Breaking down barriers to a suicide prevention helpline: Protocol for a web-based randomized controlled trial

Background: Globally, suicide is among the leading causes of death, with men being more at risk to die from suicide than women. Research suggests that people with suicidal ideation often struggle to find adequate help. Every month, around 4000 people fill in the anonymous self-test for suicidal thoughts on the website of the Dutch suicide […]

Systematic review of research and interventions with frequent callers to suicide prevention helplines and crisis centers

Background: Helplines worldwide have frequent callers who may occupy a large proportion of call volume. Therapeutic gain from frequent calling has been questioned. We conducted this review to identify the characteristics of frequent callers and to compile recommendations about how best to help them. Method: Using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) standards, we searched […]

Crisis lines: Current status and recommendations for research and policy

Objective: The 988 telephone number was established by the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 and implemented in July 2022 as a more accessible way to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Current financial and training resources, however, are insufficient to ensure effective implementation. Methods: To better understand the state of the literature on […]

National guidelines for child and youth behavioral health crisis care

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in July 2022. This free, confidential system provides 24/7/365 behavioral health crisis response through text, chat, and voice calls.  Congress increased its appropriation for the crisis center service to address rising rates of behavioral health crises across America. This transition represents an […]

Adolescents’ engagement with crisis hotline risk-management services: A report from the Emergency Department Screen for Teen Suicide Risk (ED-STARS) study

Objective This study examines the feasibility of a risk-management protocol for adolescent research participants at risk for suicide that relies on engagement with telephone crisis counselors. The study also examines whether engagement is moderated by adolescent demographics and clinical characteristics. Method Participants were 234 adolescents (83% female; 63% White) ages 12–18 (M = 15.3 years) drawn from the […]

Safety planning on crisis lines: Feasibility, acceptability, and perceived helpfulness of a brief intervention to mitigate future suicide risk

Background The role of crisis hotlines traditionally was limited to de-escalation and service linkage. However, hotlines are increasingly recruited to provide outreach and follow-up to suicidal individuals. Hotlines have the opportunity to not just defuse current crises but also provide brief interventions to mitigate future risk. The Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) is a brief intervention […]

Calls to helplines in Australia following media reports of Robin Williams’ suicide

Objective In the United States, there was an increase in calls to helplines following media reporting of Robin Williams’ suicide. We aimed to determine whether this was the case in Australia. Method The helpline services Lifeline and Beyond Blue provided us with weekly data on calls received for 2013–2015. We conducted interrupted time series regression […]

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline crisis chat interventions: Evaluation of chatters’ perceptions of effectiveness

Objective As part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s crisis response system, the Lifeline Crisis Chat Network (LCC) answers chats from hundreds of thousands of at-risk individuals yearly. The study’s objective was to assess the effectiveness of these online crisis interventions. Method Data from 39,911 pre-chat surveys and 13,130 linked pre- and post-chat surveys completed by […]

Third-party callers to the national suicide prevention lifeline: Seeking assistance on behalf of people at imminent risk of suicide

Objective To assist suicidal individuals, people in their social network are often directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). The study’s objective was to provide information on third-party calls made out of concern for another person. Method Reports on 172 third-party calls concerning individuals deemed to be at imminent suicide risk were completed by […]

Effect of helping suicidal people using text messaging: An evaluation of effects and best practices of the Canadian suicide prevention Service’s text helpline

Background Empirical research on best practices in suicide prevention text intervention is scarce. We present analyses of exchanges concerning suicide on the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) text helpline. Objective To describe the users of the CSPS text service, explore the perceived impact of the service, and identify intervention characteristics associated with a greater likelihood […]

An analysis of young clients’ communications about their suicidality on a text message helpline: “I’m scared of what I might do to myself”

Background: Youth suicide is a major international concern and prevention is a priority. In most cases suicidal behavior would be preceded by a period of suicidal ideation. Although feeling suicidal is recognized as a risk factor for suicide, there is little research which captures young people’s own experience of suicidality in a moment of crisis. Aims: This […]

Individuals who text crisis text line: Key characteristics and opportunities for suicide prevention

Objective Text-based crisis services are increasingly prominent, with inclusion in the national 988 crisis number launching in 2022. Yet little is known about who uses them. This study seeks to understand the population served by Crisis Text Line (CTL), the largest crisis text service in the United States. Methods Secondary data analysis was conducted on […]

Mental health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic as revealed by helpline calls

Mental health is an important component of public health, especially in times of crisis. However, monitoring public mental health is difficult because data are often patchy and low-frequency. Here we complement established approaches by using data from helplines, which offer a real-time measure of ‘revealed’ distress and mental health concerns across a range of topics. […]

Trends in reasons for emergency calls during the COVID-19 crisis in the department of Gironde, France using artificial neural network for natural language classification

Objectives During periods such as the COVID-19 crisis, there is a need for responsive public health surveillance indicators in order to monitor both the epidemic growth and potential public health consequences of preventative measures such as lockdown. We assessed whether the automatic classification of the content of calls to emergency medical communication centers could provide […]

Relationship between suicidal ideation and family problems among young callers to the Japanese crisis hotline

Previous studies have reported an association between family relationships and suicidal behavior, and found that people with high suicidal ideation are not likely to consult with others about their distress. An effective consulting service is therefore necessary for such individuals. Crisis hotlines are effective for reducing suicide risk, but their associated suicide ideation rate and […]

Do search engine helpline notices aid in preventing suicide? Analysis of archival data

Background: Search engines display helpline notices when people query for suicide-related information. Objective: In this study, we aimed to examine if these notices and other information displayed in response to suicide-related queries are correlated with subsequent searches for suicide prevention rather than harmful information. Methods: Anonymous suicide-related searches made on Bing and Google in the United States, the […]

Telephone crisis support workers’ intentions to use recommended skills while experiencing functional impairment

Background: Empathic engagement with distressed others can lead to elevated symptoms of psychological distress and functional impairment, which preclude helping professionals’ delivery of optimal patient care. Whether telephone crisis support workers are impacted in a similar way is not currently reported in the literature. Aims: This study examined the relationship between functional impairment and intentions to use […]

Follow-up with callers to the national suicide prevention lifeline: Evaluation of callers’ perceptions of care.

Continuity of care for suicidal individuals engaged with a variety of health and mental health care systems has become a national priority, and crisis hotlines are increasingly playing a part in the risk management and continuum of care for these individuals. The current study evaluated a national initiative to have crisis centers in the National […]

Testing a model of functional impairment in telephone crisis support workers.

Background: It is well known that helping professionals experience functional impairment related to elevated symptoms of psychological distress as a result of frequent empathic engagement with distressed others. Whether telephone crisis support workers are impacted in a similar way is not currently reported in the literature. Aims: The purpose of this study was to test a hypothesized model […]

Preventing suicide and self-harm.

Telephone helplines are considered to play an important role in preventing suicide and self-harm among callers in distress. However, inconsistency in the methods of evaluating such services has limited the firm conclusions that can be drawn. Aims: To evaluate the efficacy of a UK-based helpline from a service user and helpline worker perspective. Method: Callers […]