A Comparison of Professionals and Paraprofessionals in Crisis Line Intervention
Ariyavatkul, Nicole G.
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Some support the emergence of nonprofessionals into the mental health field and others oppose their qualifications. This proposed study compared professionals’ and paraprofessionals’ effectiveness in answering crisis hotlines. It was expected that nonprofessionals would rate similarly or higher than professionals in Truax and Carkhuff’s (1967) scales of empathy, warmth, and genuineness which are crucial dimensions in crisis intervention. A Distance Questionnaire was developed to measure whether this difference was due to barriers created during professional training. It was also predicted that poor performers in suicide intervention skills would also demonstrate a lower effectiveness in crisis intervention skills. A random sample of 15 paraprofessionals trained in crisis intervention, and 15 professionals answered roleplayed phone calls. These were tape-recorded and rated.