Year: 2018 Source: Crisis. (2018), 39(3), 159-165. SIEC No: 20180666

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.