Mental Health Support Workers and Suicide Prevention

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dc.contributor.advisor Seymour, F en
dc.contributor.advisor Willis, G en Bach, Ursula en 2019-08-22T22:18:00Z en 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Individuals who have a mental health diagnosis have increased risk for suicidal behaviours. Previous research has focused on understanding the attitudes and suicide risk assessment skills of professionals who provide mental health care to those with mental health problems, but comparatively little research has focused on non-professional frontline mental health support workers (MHSWs). It is important to understand how MHSW conceptualise their work within this role in relation to suicide prevention and how they regard their capacity to carry out suicide prevention tasks. Two studies were conducted to examine these issues. Understanding the factors that contribute to MHSWs confidence in caring for those at risk may contribute to suicide prevention. In Study One seven experienced MHSWs were interviewed and the resulting transcripts subjected to thematic analysis. This analysis identified six themes: (i) Dealing with Suicide is Something We Do and We Play a Key Role, (ii) We Feel Very Responsible, (iii) Our Role in Suicide Prevention: Dismissed and Underutilised, (iv) Dealing with Suicide has a Large Emotional Effect, (v) Our Amorphous and Undervalued Role, and (vi) We Need Increased Support, Training, and Talk. In Study Two an online survey was conducted with 91 MHSWs. Statistical analysis of the online survey indicated basic suicide intervention training, suicide literacy, and general self-efficacy were significantly related to self-reported confidence in dealing with client suicidality. The combined findings suggest that MHSWs could play a significant part in suicide prevention; work that is experienced as emotionally demanding, particularly in the absence of adequate training and support. Their participation in suicide prevention demands better recognition of their role in mental health care generally, and enhanced training and supervision in suicide prevention is needed. Gatekeeper training for all MHSW is suggested to promote better communication between staff groups that work in mental health care, MHSW role clarity and legitimacy, and skills in identifying suicide risk and managing client suicidal behaviour. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265167214002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Mental Health Support Workers and Suicide Prevention en
dc.type Thesis en Clinical Psychology en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 779346 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-08-23 en

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