Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2020), 50(1), 29-41. SIEC No: 20230175
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 designed to help manage suicidal crises, but its feasibility and effectiveness on hotlines are not established. Aims This study examined feasibility and perceived effectiveness of SPI, as reported by 271 crisis counselors at five centers in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Method Counselors were trained to use SPI. Self-report surveys were completed immediately after training (time 1) and at the end of the study, approximately 9 months later (time 2). Results Counselors reported that SPI was feasible and helpful, and was used on both incoming and follow-up calls. Utilization and perceived effectiveness at time 2 were predicted by self-efficacy, feasibility, and helpfulness at time 1. Limitations Results are preliminary and limited to counselors’ perceptions. Future RCTs should establish efficacy of SPI for crisis callers. Conclusion The Safety Planning Intervention is a promising approach to reduce crisis callers’ future suicide risk that hotline counselors report is both feasible and helpful.