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"You've got to take them seriously": meeting information needs in mental health care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Health Informatics Journal
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)37-45
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this article we explore the practical aspects of providing mental health information over the telephone, and discuss how this may be used to inform the creation of a website. We draw from an ethnographic study of an `information and listening helpline'. By paying close attention to how the helpline operators `take seriously' their callers' problems and requests - indeed, by taking the work of the phone operators seriously - we show that the operators artfully talk, categorize and translate to help the individual caller and to satisfy organizational demands. A website is seen by the helpline in question as a logical move to providing accessible information to a wider audience. Whilst web-based and phone-based services might both appear to function along similar lines for providing information, we question how a web-based system might afford or complement the kinds of services that can be done over the telephone.