National suicide prevention lifeline: Enhancing mental health care for suicidal individuals and other people in crisis
Gould, M.S., Munfakh, J.L.H., Kleinman, M., & Lake, A.M.
Linking at-risk callers to ongoing mental health care is a key goal of crisis hotline interventions that has not often been addressed in evaluations of hotlines’ effectiveness. We conducted telephone interviews with 376 suicidal and 278 nonsuicidal crisis callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) to assess rates of mental health care utilization following Lifeline calls and to assess attitudinal and structural barriers to service utilization. Postcall utilization rates were approximately 50% for suicidal and crisis callers who received mental health care referrals. Lack of health insurance and callers’ perceptions about mental health problems emerged as significant barriers to accessing continued help.