Journal article

Frequent callers to telephone helplines: new evidence and a new service model

Jane Pirkis, Aves Middleton, Bridget Bassilios, Meredith Harris, Matthew J Spittal, Izabela Fedszyn, Patty Chondros, Jane Gunn

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS | BIOMED CENTRAL LTD | Published : 2016

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This paper describes a program of work designed to inform a service model to address a challenge for telephone helplines, namely frequent callers. METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature review and four empirical studies that drew on different data sources-(a) routinely collected calls data from Lifeline, Australia's largest telephone helpline; (b) data from surveys/interviews with Lifeline frequent callers; (c) data from the Diagnosis, Management and Outcomes of Depression in Primary Care (diamond) study; and (d) data from Australia's National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. RESULTS: Frequent callers represent 3 % of callers but make 60 % of calls. They are isolated..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The research described in this paper was supported by the Lifeline Foundation with funding from Servier Australia. Jane Pirkis is funded through a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellowship, and Aves Middleton holds Ph.D. scholarships from the NHMRC and Australian Rotary Health.