The Helplines Special Interest Group exists to facilitate exchanges of information and research across helplines services.
Helplines continue to play a vital role in suicide prevention, often attracting suicidal help seekers and providing an opportunity to de-escalate suicidal states, explore and reduce distress related to specific crisis issues in a person’s life and provide referrals to other services and broader health and community supports. Helplines are often featured in national suicide prevention strategies. In the past ten years, the research on helplines operations and effectiveness has developed, while further work on research, quality standards and measures of performance and effectiveness is warranted. Recent growth and development of online support services and social media outreach, utilising similar principles and techniques to traditional helplines, also requires research, policy and practice attention towards optimal suicide prevention.
Several SIG members are interested in exploring the collection and use of data by helplines for research and service improvement purposes. The SIG will promote and share emerging research findings on the effectiveness and impact of helplines.
To pursue a shared interest in Helplines and related online and social media services for suicide prevention, with a view to making a substantive contribution to improved understanding, practice or policy relating to their operation, effectiveness and impact.
The membership of the Helplines SIG includes approximately 50 persons representing more than 30 helplines and various research organisations throughout the world. A Facebook Group to enable Helpline SIG Members to communicate and share information and expertise has been established. We are looking for people who are interested in working with us to progress this very important work. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact the SIG Co-Chairs.