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      Impact of Crisis Line Volunteering on Mental Wellbeing and the Associated Factors: A Systematic Review


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          Crisis line services, operated by volunteers, have been proven to be effective in decreasing psychological pain and preventing suicidality. Although working at the crisis line may be rewarding, for some the confrontation with highly complex topics (i.e., suicidality, abuse, and loneliness) in combination with inappropriate calls (i.e., sexually abusive calls), may lead to distress or vicarious trauma. The aim of this paper is to systematically review the studies that have examined mental wellbeing of crisis line volunteers and the factors associated with it. Thirteen published empirical studies on the topic were found. These showed that crisis line volunteers are at increased risk of declined mental wellbeing. However, a wide range of operationalizations were used and most studies did not use validated instruments. On the other hand, studies showed that many volunteers experience satisfaction and gratification from their work. This review gives insight into some of the work-related, organization-related, and volunteer-related factors that may be associated with the decrease of mental wellbeing. More high quality, comprehensive, and quantitative research using validated instruments is urgently needed to assess the impact of the work on mental wellbeing and the relative impact of influencing factors.

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          Most cited references48

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          Mental healthcare staff well-being and burnout: A narrative review of trends, causes, implications, and recommendations for future interventions

          Rising levels of burnout and poor well-being in healthcare staff are an international concern for health systems. The need to improve well-being and reduce burnout has long been acknowledged, but few interventions target mental healthcare staff, and minimal improvements have been seen in services. This review aimed to examine the problem of burnout and well-being in mental healthcare staff and to present recommendations for future research and interventions. A discursive review was undertaken examining trends, causes, implications, and interventions in burnout and well-being in healthcare staff working in mental health services. Data were drawn from national surveys, reports, and peer-reviewed journal articles. These show that staff in mental healthcare report poorer well-being than staff in other healthcare sectors. Poorer well-being and higher burnout are associated with poorer quality and safety of patient care, higher absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. Interventions are effective, but effect sizes are small. The review concludes that grounding interventions in the research literature, emphasizing the positive aspects of interventions to staff, building stronger links between healthcare organizations and universities, and designing interventions targeting burnout and improved patient care together may improve the effectiveness and uptake of interventions by staff.
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            An evaluation of crisis hotline outcomes. Part 2: Suicidal callers.

            In this study we evaluated the effectiveness of telephone crisis services/hotlines, examining proximal outcomes as measured by changes in callers' suicide state from the beginning to the end of their calls to eight centers in the U.S. and again within 3 weeks of their calls. Between March 2003 and July 2004, 1,085 suicide callers were assessed during their calls and 380 (35.0%) participated in the follow-up assessment. Several key findings emerged. Seriously suicidal individuals reached out to telephone crisis services. Significant decreases in suicidality were found during the course of the telephone session, with continuing decreases in hopelessness and psychological pain in the following weeks. A caller's intent to die at the end of the call was the most potent predictor of subsequent suicidality. The need to heighten outreach strategies and improve referrals is highlighted.
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              Interrelations of social support measures: Theoretical and practical implications.


                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                03 March 2020
                March 2020
                : 17
                : 5
                : 1641
                [1 ]Research Center Innovations in Care; Rotterdam University of Applied Science, 3015EK Rotterdam, The Netherlands; p.vuijk@ 123456hr.nl
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands; c.h.c.drossaert@ 123456utwente.nl (C.D.); e.t.bohlmeijer@ 123456utwente.nl (E.B.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: r.c.w.j.willems@ 123456hr.nl ; Tel.: +31-639194357
                Author information
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 07 February 2020
                : 25 February 2020

                Public health
                crisis line,volunteer,mental wellbeing,influencing factors,systematic review
                Public health
                crisis line, volunteer, mental wellbeing, influencing factors, systematic review


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