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Suicide Prevention Outreach on Social Media Delivered by Trained Volunteers.

Authors
  • Keasar, Vered1
  • Sznitman, Sharon1
  • Baumel, Amit2
  • 1 School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Israel. , (Israel)
  • 2 Department of Community Mental Health, University of Haifa, Israel. , (Israel)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Crisis
Publication Date
May 01, 2023
Volume
44
Issue
3
Pages
247–254
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000864
PMID: 35656647
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background: There is a need to develop new ways to reach and engage people at risk for suicidal behavior. Suicide prevention outreach on social media (SPOSM) represents a promising strategy, and trained volunteers could potentially provide the needed human resources. Aims: We aimed to investigate users' perception of SPOSM delivered by volunteers of the Israeli Sahar organization and its potential to promote help-seeking behavior. Methods: Outreach messages written by Sahar volunteers between July 2015 and June 2020 in response to suicidal posts on a social media site were screened. User responses were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: One hundred sixteen user responses were analyzed. Positive impact themes were identified in 69.8% of responses, while 16.4% of responses mentioned barriers to care and 10.3% were negative. Limitations: As the study is based on real-life data, the data are limited to users who chose to respond to outreach. Conclusion: The findings suggest that volunteer-based SPOSM is viewed positively by many users and may foster help-seeking behavior. The findings also outline challenges such as emotional barriers to care and privacy concerns.

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