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Recommendations for culturally sensitive and intersectional practice in suicide prevention intervention for public safety personnel: A qualitative approach

Keywords: Public Safety Personnel (PSP), Qualitative, Suicide


Public safety personnel (PSP) is a group of professionals particularly at risk of suicide. However, this is not a homogeneous group. In fact, this group of professionals includes all first responders, such as police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, paramedics and public safety communicators. Professional culture associated with those different occupations may be one of the factors explaining these differences between sub-groups.

One of the suicide prevention interventions to emerge from consultations with PSPs and work with the Quebec Ministry of Public Safety is the establishment of a crisis intervention line for public safety personnel, available 24/7. The creation of the RESPond line, specifically designed for PSP, is a direct response to this request. However, in order to tailor the intervention to the needs of different PSP sub-groups, it would be relevant to look at how the culture of different PSPs differs with regard to suicide and psychological distress.

The aim of this project is therefore to:

  1. Identify cultural differences in suicide prevention between PSP sub-groups, with a view to intersectionality; and,
  2. Adapt the crisis line intervention so that it is culturally sensitive.

To meet these objectives, the researchers will hold focus groups to do the following:

  1. Find out how they view suicide and their needs in terms of intervention and the barriers for seeking help; and,
  2. Present the results of the first phase, as well as clinical vignettes representing calls made to the crisis line in order to adapt interventions culturally.

Recommendations for training and intervention will be developed and shared.

Principle Investigator

Christine Genest, University of Montreal


Cécile Bardon, Chantalle L. Clarkin, Heidi Cramm, Allison Crawford, Steve Geoffrion, Krystle Martin, and Rose Ricciardelli

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