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Hot call to a warm line: Preliminary explorations into doing suicide prevention
Unformatted Document Text:  6 asserting the real reason for the call: “I’m very depressed.” Being “very” depressed, as a strongly negative assessment, indicates the seriousness of her current trouble. In response, the working peer acknowledges this statement as “news” (Heritage, 1984) and recognizes the contrastive nature of reports on one’s current troublesome feelings (versus one’s pets). In overlap, the caller reports on additional information (“I take”) that supports her claim about depression; she is taking medication for this condition. Notably, however, “anti-depressants’ can be a possible solution to the revealed trouble, thus making the issue of depression neither advisable nor currently serious, if not for the ending contrastive token “but.” It frames the report again as one in a series of reports, used by the first-time caller to tell her life-story. However, beginning with the ending contrastive token (“but”) in line 109 that implicates a potential second pair part to this report, the caller goes on to further report that the proposed solution (her medication) is not working. She justifies the significance of her problem by noting “as of late” (a current, yet not specified time) what she feels, using “life was just not worth living” as a way to specify what she meant by “very depressed.” This idea of “life was just not worth living” implicates suicidal thoughts. “Life was” indicates either she thinks of her life as over or her thoughts about this are not current. How does the working peer react? The short pause seems appropriate to a philosophy of nondirectiveness: let the caller talk until one determines that the telling of these troubles might be complete. DH wants to hear more, as he tries to understand the potential urgency and seriousness of these thoughts. With no report immediately forthcoming, DH uses “oh okay” to acknowledge the report as surprising “news” and then puts forth a query that seeks confirmation of this news. The working peer does not limit these feelings to “now”, although he implies a current implication to these potentially “suicidal feelings.” In line 114, the caller acknowledges those

Authors: Pudlinski, Christopher.
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6
asserting the real reason for the call: “I’m very depressed.” Being “very” depressed, as a strongly
negative assessment, indicates the seriousness of her current trouble. In response, the working
peer acknowledges this statement as “news” (Heritage, 1984) and recognizes the contrastive
nature of reports on one’s current troublesome feelings (versus one’s pets). In overlap, the caller
reports on additional information (“I take”) that supports her claim about depression; she is
taking medication for this condition. Notably, however, “anti-depressants’ can be a possible
solution to the revealed trouble, thus making the issue of depression neither advisable nor
currently serious, if not for the ending contrastive token “but.” It frames the report again as one
in a series of reports, used by the first-time caller to tell her life-story. However, beginning with
the ending contrastive token (“but”) in line 109 that implicates a potential second pair part to this
report, the caller goes on to further report that the proposed solution (her medication) is not
working. She justifies the significance of her problem by noting “as of late” (a current, yet not
specified time) what she feels, using “life was just not worth living” as a way to specify what she
meant by “very depressed.” This idea of “life was just not worth living” implicates suicidal
thoughts. “Life was” indicates either she thinks of her life as over or her thoughts about this are
not current.
How does the working peer react? The short pause seems appropriate to a philosophy of
nondirectiveness: let the caller talk until one determines that the telling of these troubles might be
complete. DH wants to hear more, as he tries to understand the potential urgency and seriousness
of these thoughts. With no report immediately forthcoming, DH uses “oh okay” to acknowledge
the report as surprising “news” and then puts forth a query that seeks confirmation of this news.
The working peer does not limit these feelings to “now”, although he implies a current
implication to these potentially “suicidal feelings.” In line 114, the caller acknowledges those


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