Immediate impact of a brief suicide prevention training for veteran volunteers

Introduction.┬áThe concern that talking about suicide may intensify suicidal ideation is a common fear that has been dispelled by research, yet still lingers in popular consciousness. The aim of the current initiative was to develop a brief suicide prevention training for volunteers in a peer support program for veterans, given that layperson-facing approaches are critical […]

Use of Volunteers as Crisis Line Supervisors: Suicide Prevention Center

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

The Loss Program – An Active Postvention Model

Guidelines for the Training of Lay-workers in Suicide Prevention (IN: Preventive Strategies on Suicide, ed. by R F W Diekstra, W Gulbinat et al.)

This chapter is concerned with the development of the attributes, skills, & knowledge that enable lay-people to recognize & support those at risk of suicide. It discusses particularly the selection & training of volunteers in suicide prevention agencies, & includes material that could also be adapted for use in the training of other groups. (19 […]

Altruism in Hotline Volunteers: the Distortions of Caring

This article continues a discussion of altruism & focuses on distortions of caring that can take place & that can lead to volunteer burnout, real or perceived harm to the caller, or even a life-threatening situation for the volunteer or caller. Specific problems discussed: egoism, vicarious needs, diverting the therapeutic goal of the conversation, inappropriate […]

Prominent Crisis Center Volunteer Performance Measures

This document consists of 5 scales & guides to measure crisis center volunteer performance. The scales are: 1) Technical Effectiveness Scale; 2) A Scale for the Measurement of Empathic Understanding; 3) A Scale for the Measurement of Facilitative Genuineness; 4) A Scale for the Measurement of Facilitative Warmth; & 5) A Guide for Evaluating Volunteers […]

Crisis Centers: Training Programs That Work

Common Ground is a crisis intervention agency in metropolitan Detroit. This presentation describes the training that volunteers at this agency receive, & the qualities that the agency looks for in volunteers, i.e. they are empathic, non-judgemental & have the ability to set aside personal beliefs to provide effective intervention for the caller. A unique aspect […]

The Best of the Best: Screening new Volunteers

This presentation describes the process used to select volunteers for Common Ground, a crisis centre in Michigan. Screening is held prior to the 3-times yearly training session & is directed by a staff supervisor with volunteers who do the actual screening. Screening is a 4-part process: 1) applicants first interview each other; 2) they then […]

Selection and Orientation of Crisis Home Providers

Since 1981 the Crisis Home Program in Minneapolis has provided an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization for adults,namely licensed foster homes. The program is also staffed by psychiatric nurses. This presentation was on the recruitment & selection of foster home providers. Applicants are screened by telephone & personal interviews. If applicants are accepted & receive a […]

Altruism in Hotline Volunteers

The purpose of this article is to assist in the recruitment of not only an adequate supply of volunteers to work on hotlines, but to assist in the selection of volunteers who will be caring & compassionate in fulfilling the human service mandate of the hotline. It examines volunteer motivations, the nature of the work, […]

Reliability Analysis of the Crisis Line Suicide Risk Scale

This article examines the reliability of the Crisis Line Suicide Risk Scale (CLSRS), which is scale for testing the ability of crisis line staff to make accurate risk assessments. The authors found the CLSRS is a psychometrically sound instrument. It accurately reflected the experience & educational levels of the hotline volunteers tested. (VM)

Brief Reports: On the Tendency for Volunteer Helpers to Give Advice

A sample of responses made by telephone line volunteers to crisis centre callers indicated a particularly high level of “advice” was given & that feelings expressed by the callers were mostly ignored. Data was collected over a 3-year period & consisted of responses made by 350 volunteers. The authors suggest careful screening of volunteers & […]

Volunteers in a Suicide Prevention Service: A Psychiatric Study

Volunteers replying to an advertisement for an agency dealing with suicide (CFH) & for a youth service (YLL) that did not mention suicide in its advertising were compared in terms of psychiatric history. Both groups were compared with a sample of self-callers to a crisis centre. CFH applications had significantly more psychiatric illness than YLL […]

The Volunteer Suicidologist: Current Status and Future Prospects (IN: Suicidology: Contemporary Developments, ed. by E S Shneidman)

Noting that the volunteer suicidologist has become a vital component of the suicide prevention scene throughout the world, this chapter reviews the current state of the use of volunteers & attempts to focus attention on some of the possibilities which are emerging for the maximum utilization of volunteers in the future. The discussion includes information […]

The Analysis of a Crisis Call Center: An Examination of Both Its Function and Meaning, Within the Mental Health Community (Micro HV 6548 U52 N36 1972)

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the work of a crisis centre’s telephone service. The Nashville Crisis Call Center is staffed by 65 volunteers and 10 “back-up” professionals. Data was collected from an analysis of the referral network for a one month period; the agency’s image in the community was also investigated. Scales […]

An Examination of the Methods of Operation of Distress Lines Within Four Provincial Suicide Prevention Programs

This is a comprehensive review (1984) of the operational methods used by call-in services included in suicide prevention services in Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, & Lethbridge, Alberta. A review is made of funding, volunteer recruitment, confidentiality, operating procedures, recording methods, client follow-up, & reference resources. Twelve appendices are included: these contain materials used […]

Evaluation of Crisis Intervention Programs and Personnel

Many of the suicide prevention centers that developed throughout the country during the last decade have evolved into general crisis intervention services. At the same time, they have stimulated the development of a wide variety of agencies that utilize nonprofessional volunteers who, primarily through telephone contact, provide helping services to people in crisis. This paper […]

Crisis Intervention and Counseling by Telephone (RC 480.5 C75 1973)

The Volunteer in Suicide Prevention

Studied are the characteristics of 78 volunteers in a suicide prevention center in reaction to a study reporting high emotional disturbance among such staff. Data described the typical volunteers as: aged 21-30, single, nonauthoritarian, benevolent, having some college education, adhering to ‘ideas of’ modern mental health professionals, inclined toward an interpersonal theory of mental illness […]

Volunteers in a Suicide Prevention Service

Systematically evaluated 125 volunteers of 2 telephone help services. The suicide prevention service, oriented to psychiatric problems, attracted significantly more volunteers reporting a history of psychiatric disorder and suicide thoughts than did a teen hot line.

Telephone Counseling and Crisis Intervention: A Review

The empirical research pertaining to the effectiveness of telephone counselling & referral systems personnel was critically reviewed. It was concluded that discussions of effectiveness should be constrained by a careful consideration of the specific index of efficacy chosen by investigators as well as methodological issues associated with current research. Guidelines for the use of evaluation […]

SFSP: A Model Volunteer Program

Volunteers are an integral component of the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Program. This brief article provides an overview of the works of SFSP, its history, and the selection process screening & training of its volunteers.(NBB)

Evaluating the Functioning of Community-Based Hotlines

A person who was role-playing called 10 community-based hotlines & presented them with her personal problems. In all cases, the hotlines functioned at a level considered to be less than minimally facilitative. (LH)