This document sets out the remit of the helpline service, HOPELineUK, which PAPYRUS Prevention of young suicide provides.
What is HOPELineUK?
- HOPELineUK advisors provide short term support, practical advice and information for young people up to the age of 35 who may be having suicidal thoughts, or for anyone concerned about a young person who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide.
- HOPELineUK provides this service over the telephone, via email and via text messaging.
- The main elements of the service are for the user to be listened to, for suicidal thoughts to be explored, and advice and information given where appropriate.
- In practice, an advisor will talk through the issues with the client, listening to their story, offering emotional support, and providing advice regarding where or whom to receive help from dependant on the issues raised. An advisor will also provide practical information regarding how to manage suicidal thoughts, or how to support someone with them.
- For where the client is a young person experiencing suicidal thoughts, the HOPELineUK advisors are trained by LivingWorks as life-assisting care-givers, so they can help people to work towards staying safe for now. Should the a client tell us they are unable to stay safe from suicide and they are unable to reach out for help themselves, the HOPELineUK advisor may need to pass brief details on to someone such as the emergency services in order to help them to stay safe. See HOPELineUK’s confidentiality policy for more information about this.
Common misconceptions of HOPELineUK that are not within the remit of the service:
- HOPELineUK does not provide a listening service, rather a discussion based on suicide with a practical, advice-based focus.
- HOPELineUK advisors are not counsellors
- HOPELineUK advisors cannot make referrals to other organisations, apart from those mentioned in the intervention policy to help someone to stay safe.
- HOPELineUK advisors cannot make calls on behalf of others, and they cannot contact someone unless that person has reached out to the service themselves first.
- HOPELineUK does not provide a face to face service. In the event that a potential client tries to access help by visiting any of the PAPYRUS offices, they will be re directed to contact the helpline by phone, text or email. HOPELineUK advisors or other staff members are not trained in offering face to face help.
- HOPELineUK does not undertake casework on behalf of clients. It is not within HOPELineUK’s remit to undertake any other work on behalf of clients after the contact has ended other than sending through an SMS or email with details of organisations that have been suggested, if the client would like this information.
Signposting and advice
- HOPELineUK can provide a signposting service. Signposting means giving a client details of an organisation (phone number/opening hours, for example) and explaining what that service does, if this is deemed appropriate throughout the conversation.
Callers over the age of 35 at risk of suicide
- HOPELineUK advisors do not turn callers away if they are older than the target audience and will support them for that initial contact only.
- HOPELineUK advisors will still provide information, advice and signposting to a caller older than 35, however advisors will explain the service is primarily for those younger than 35 and will help the client to identify a service more appropriate for them for if they need support in the future.
Admin enquiries (media / publicity requests)
- Requests that are not related to the direct provision of help to clients, including publicity requests and media enquiries, will be encouraged to redirect their request to the PAPYRUS main office, as HOPELineUK cannot do this.
Misuse of the service
- If someone calls HOPELineUK and doesn’t get through right away, we would strongly encourage them to leave a voicemail stating their contact number, and an advisor will return their call as soon as one is available. If someone were to continually call, this one-way call traffic could cause a problem for advisors working on call-backs. For this reason, always call once and leave a voicemail.
- HOPELineUK is a short-term suicide prevention service. It focuses on helping people to build a plan to stay safe when thoughts of suicide are intense, and for providing advice on how to access longer-term support for thoughts of suicide and any difficulties underpinning these.
- Due to the nature of HOPELineUK, the majority of contacts will be one-off support, or people may contact HOPELineUK again to follow up on advice or to review a safety plan.
- Regular callers are those that may call back multiple times. In order to ensure that they receive appropriate support, the HOPELineUK advisors may keep some notes, in line with the Data Protection Act (1998), on what has been discussed and advised, and they will also review that client’s use of the HOPELineUK service regularly.
- If it is deemed that HOPELineUK has become a barrier for a client accessing further support, or if there is no more practical advice and support that HOPELineUK can provide for that individual, the service may be withdrawn for that client, often for a set period of time.
- If HOPELineUK withdraws the use of its service to someone and they get in touch via text or email during the withdrawn period, HOPELineUK will not be able to see these messages. If the client calls, their number will either be unable to get through to HOPELineUK, or the advisor will end the call after explaining why if the call did connect.
- These are contacts from a single client or group of people that are intentionally misusing the service, such as by making ‘prank calls’ to the service. In most circumstances it will be necessary to end these calls, and details can be passed on to the police if someone were to continue to misuse the service in this way, as this can prevent people who need help from being able to get through to the service.
- Some test calls may be a result of someone finding it really difficult to start a conversation and it may sound as though nobody is speaking. In these cases, the HOPELineUK advisors may start by explaining some things about the service to give the caller some time and space to feel more able to talk. They may also encourage the caller to call back when they feel ready to talk, or to contact the service via text or email in case they find this more helpful.
Sexually inappropriate calls
- If a caller is sexually inappropriate on the call, text, or email service, the HOPELineUK advisor will end the contact.
Abusive or aggressive calls
- If a caller is abusive or aggressive towards the advisor on the call, text, or email service, the HOPELineUK advisor will end the contact.
- Clients with learning difficulties or speech impairments – In these cases, it will be helpful to let the HOPELineUK advisors know whether there is anything they can do to help with any difficulties in communication or understanding. The HOPELineUK advisor will seek to support the client using whatever means they choose to contact an advisor, but they may suggest alternatives if they seem more appropriate.
- If the caller is under the influence of alcohol or other substances – HOPELineUK advisors will always try to support someone who contacts for support with thoughts of suicide. If the person is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs but can work with the advisor towards staying safe from suicide, then the contact will continue as usual. If it seems as though the person cannot engage with this contact and cannot work on safety, then the advisor may end this contact and encourage the client to reach out for emergency support. The intervention policy may also come into effect during these times, see confidentiality policy for more information.