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The Impact of Caller Gender on Telephone Crisis-Helpline Workers’ Interpretation of Suicidality in Caller Vignettes

1,2,3,*, 1,2,3,4, 5, 1 and 3,4,6,7
1
School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
2
llawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
3
Centre for Mental Illness in Nowra District: Goals and Prevention (MINDtheGaP), Nowra, NSW 2541, Australia
4
Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
5
School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
6
Lifeline Research Foundation, Lifeline Australia, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
7
Suicide Prevention Australia, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040831
Received: 25 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
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Abstract

Telephone crisis-line workers (TCWs) are trained in a variety of techniques and skills to facilitate the identification of suicidal callers. One factor that may influence the implementation of these skills is gender. This study used an experimental design to explore whether helpline callers being identified as male or female is associated with TCWs’ ratings of callers’ potential for suicide risk and TCWs’ intention to use support- or intervention-oriented skills with callers. Data were collected using an online self-report survey in an Australian sample of 133 TCWs. The results suggest that under some circumstances the callers’ gender might influence TCWs’ intention to use intervention-oriented skills with the caller. Implications for the training of telephone crisis workers, and those trained in suicide prevention more broadly are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; suicide intervention; telephone crisis-helpline; telephone crisis support; men; women; communication; gender differences suicide; suicide intervention; telephone crisis-helpline; telephone crisis support; men; women; communication; gender differences
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Hunt, T.; Wilson, C.J.; Caputi, P.; Wilson, I.; Woodward, A. The Impact of Caller Gender on Telephone Crisis-Helpline Workers’ Interpretation of Suicidality in Caller Vignettes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 831.

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