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Hot call to a warm line: Preliminary explorations into doing suicide prevention
Unformatted Document Text:  14 nondirective, it is not surprising that “well, you should tell (your doctor)” was not sequentially next once a solution to “tell yu doctor” was rejected. Instead, the working peer tries to elicit information relevant to help solve the problem, by seeking out objections that might stand in the way of the suggestion before he puts forth another solution. Being better informed about a caller’s problems might increase the ability to connect a solution to a caller’s specific problem; thus, a quick shift to giving advice and providing solutions can be premature (see also Heritage & Sefi, 1992). This is the first time in the call that the caller has discussed her “doctor.” In line 465, the caller minimally acknowledges the working peer’s guess as to her motives for keeping her suicidal thoughts from her “doctor.” The working peer accepts this as an acknowledgment, yet does not quite know how to proceed (e.g., “uhm” then a long pause). He finally suggests the action that the caller was possibly afraid of doing. He stresses that “its very important” so as to emphasize the necessity of the suggestion. Unlike the indirect strategy of incorporating an option within a query, used in all previous attempts at giving advice, the working peer gives a directive. He encourages adoption of a “safe option” by using an unmitigated assessment (“its very important”) and a clear imperative (“speak to a your doctor”). Given the seriousness of the caller’s most recently reported plan and the working peer’s lack of previous success in getting the caller to generate her own solutions, this method seems appropriate. Typical of situations where advice continually gets rejected (e.g., Silverman, 1997), pursuit of advice gets more and more direct over the course over the call, moving from a general category to a specific activity to a strongly endorsed specific action. The working peer takes more and more responsibility for the caller’s well-being. However, the working peer meets clear caller resistance, as noted by the pause in line 468 and the caller’s return to the topic by summarizing the troubling report as an illustration, not a

Authors: Pudlinski, Christopher.
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nondirective, it is not surprising that “well, you should tell (your doctor)” was not sequentially
next once a solution to “tell yu doctor” was rejected. Instead, the working peer tries to elicit
information relevant to help solve the problem, by seeking out objections that might stand in the
way of the suggestion before he puts forth another solution. Being better informed about a
caller’s problems might increase the ability to connect a solution to a caller’s specific problem;
thus, a quick shift to giving advice and providing solutions can be premature (see also Heritage &
Sefi, 1992). This is the first time in the call that the caller has discussed her “doctor.”
In line 465, the caller minimally acknowledges the working peer’s guess as to her motives
for keeping her suicidal thoughts from her “doctor.” The working peer accepts this as an
acknowledgment, yet does not quite know how to proceed (e.g., “uhm” then a long pause). He
finally suggests the action that the caller was possibly afraid of doing. He stresses that “its very
important” so as to emphasize the necessity of the suggestion. Unlike the indirect strategy of
incorporating an option within a query, used in all previous attempts at giving advice, the
working peer gives a directive. He encourages adoption of a “safe option” by using an
unmitigated assessment (“its very important”) and a clear imperative (“speak to a your doctor”).
Given the seriousness of the caller’s most recently reported plan and the working peer’s lack of
previous success in getting the caller to generate her own solutions, this method seems
appropriate. Typical of situations where advice continually gets rejected (e.g., Silverman, 1997),
pursuit of advice gets more and more direct over the course over the call, moving from a general
category to a specific activity to a strongly endorsed specific action. The working peer takes
more and more responsibility for the caller’s well-being.
However, the working peer meets clear caller resistance, as noted by the pause in line 468
and the caller’s return to the topic by summarizing the troubling report as an illustration, not a


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