Financial sector workers’ experiences of managing suicidal clients
O'Neill, S., Ennis, E., McFeeters, D., & Gallagher, L.
Background: Financial sector workers interface with indebted clients, who may be distressed and have heightened vulnerability to suicidality.
Aim(s): This study examined the experiences of 10 Irish financial sector workers who had experiences of encountering distressed clients who discuss suicide.
Method: Semistructured interviews (open-ended questions) were used. Results: Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) identified four themes, namely: (1) avoidance versus confrontation of reality (management of the debt); (2) role conflict (recovering the debt vs. supporting the client); (3) emotional impact and distancing from clients (coping with concerns for client welfare); (4) desire for support (practical and emotional training and support needs).
Limitations: The frequency with which such clients were encountered was not assessed.
Conclusion: These themes demonstrate the need to provide support to this group, and also the difficulties in providing training to manage suicidal clients in a context where the staff member’s goal is to recover debt.