Paper presented at the National Suicide Prevention Conference, 24-27 July 2016, Canberra, Australia.
Within Australia, non-clinical telephone and online crisis support services provide readily accessible support without the requirement of referral. Research shows that up to one third of callers to crisis lines and half of all visitors to crisis chat services may be suicidal at the time of contact. Research also shows that contact with these services reduces caller suicidality and facilitates engagement with necessary intervention. The number of contacts to crisis support services in Australia is increasing. An increase in contacts to technology-based crisis services highlights the need to identify the impact of the role on crisis support staff wellbeing, determinants of staff wellbeing in the technology-based crisis support context and the extent to which the wellbeing of crisis support staff impacts their performance and client outcomes. This paper presents the evidence for an integrated model of staff education and service support that is grounded in medical education theory and can be used to underpin future research and staff (1) recruitment, (2) training, (3) skill assessment, (4) personal development and individual processes to maintain wellbeing (e.g. self-care), (5) supervisor training and staff support strategies (e.g. learning, teaching and facilitating a reflective practice model for supervision and staff professional development), and (6) service support strategies (e.g. organisational personal and professional support strategies that compliment staff supervision).