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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559


FERNANDEZ-MONTALVO, Javier; VILLANUEVA, Pedro  and  ARTEAGA, Alfonso. Characteristics and predictors of suicidal ideation severity among callers to a telephone helpline in Spain. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2021, vol.30, n.3, pp.174-181.  Epub Aug 09, 2021. ISSN 2173-4712.

Teléfono de la Esperanza (TE) is the main Spanish helpline providing telephone listening and support for callers in crisis. Crisis helplines can facilitate the identification of persons at risk for suicide. The main goals of this cross-sectional study were to identify severe suicidal ideation and to explore the differential characteristics between callers with severe and low-moderate suicidal ideation. A sample of 26,032 callers to TE was assessed; 544 callers with suicidal ideation were evaluated through ATENSIS, an assessment tool designed to collect information related to suicidal ideation. Comparisons between severe and low-moderate suicidal ideators in sociodemographics, telephone call timing, risk factors, and suicidality variables were conducted. Sixty-four (11.8%) of the suicidal ideators presented with severe suicidal ideation and 480 (88.2%) with low-moderate severity. Significant differences in several sociodemographic characteristics, risk factors, and suicidality variables between both levels of suicidal ideation severity were found. In the regression analysis, the main variables related to the presence of high suicidal ideation severity were preparatory acts, previous suicide attempts, non-suicidal self-injuries, lack of life sense, age, and hopelessness. It is concluded that helplines can be used to identify suicidal ideation among callers and to provide rapid crisis interventions according to the risk of suicide.

Keywords : Suicidal ideation; Severity; Telephone helplines; Risk factors; Assessment.

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