Financial sector workers’ experiences of managing suicidal clients

Siobhan O'Neill, Edel Ennis, Danielle McFeeters, Lia Gallagher

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Background; Financial sector workers interface with indebted clients, who may be distressed and have heightened vulnerability to suicidality. Aim(s); This study examined the experiences of 10 Irish financial sector workers who had experiences of encountering distressed clients who discuss suicide. Method; Semi-structured interviews (open ended questions) were used. Results; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) identified four themes, namely 1) avoidance versus confrontation of reality (management of the debt) (2) role conflict (recovering the debt versus supporting the client) 3) emotional impact and distancing from clients (coping with concerns for client welfare) 4) desire for support (practical and emotional training and support needs). Limitations; The frequency with which such clients were encountered was not assessed. Conclusions; These themes demonstrate the need to provide support to this group, and also the difficulties in providing training to manage suicidal clients in a context where the staff member’s goal is to recover debt.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCrisis - The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

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  • suicide prevention
  • attitudes
  • financial
  • training and support.


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