An analysis of crisis helpline call data following a murder-suicide event

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Evidence indicates that inappropriate media reporting of suicide deaths can result in “copy-cat” suicides. However, such reports may also be opportunities to highlight suicide prevention services and can lead to a rise in help-seeking behaviour such as calling a crisis helpline. This work presents an investigation into how access to a crisis helpline changes in the days after a publicised murder-suicide. Anonymised call data (on duration of calls and counts of new callers and repeat callers) provided by Samaritans Ireland are subjected to data analytic and statistical methods to explore for changes in service demand after a local murder-suicide event. Intervention analysis and change-point detection analysis is used to evaluate changes in caller behaviour in the days after this event. The number of new callers contacting the service almost doubles in the days after the murder-suicide, with a change in trend observed in the number of new callers contacting the service in the three weeks after the event. Changes in call durations are also observed, with more calls of around 30 minutes and longer being made to the service in the days after the murder-suicide event compared to the same time period in other years. The changes in the demand for the crisis helpline service after the murder-suicide may indicate an increased level of community distress, resulting in an increase in help-seeking behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021
Event28th British Isles Workshop on Research on Suicide and Self-Harm and Lancet Psychiatry Suicide Symposium - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Oct 202112 Oct 2021

Workshop

Workshop28th British Isles Workshop on Research on Suicide and Self-Harm and Lancet Psychiatry Suicide Symposium
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityOxford
Period11/10/2112/10/21

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