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Talk in mind : the analysis of calls to a mental health information line

This thesis is an analysis of interactional practices through which the work of a mental health information line is carried out, utilising discursive psychology and conversation analysis in the analysis of a corpus of calls to MIND Infoline. The aim of MIND Infoline is to provide information on mental illness, and the services in England and Wales which support those affected by mental illness. In negotiating access to the data, the call-takers of the line were encouraged to suggest topics for analysis such that the work of this thesis would be of benefit to them. Three of these topics are the foci of the analytic chapters; how callers are asked what it is they want from the line, how courses of action are proffered to callers, and how crying callers are responded to. In the analysis of these topics, institutional restrictions are discussed as consequential for the actions engaged in by the call-takers, who are encouraged to refrain from giving advice, 'chatting' with callers, and providing emotional support. In the analytic chapters, empirically grounded observations are made about four recurrent practices engaged in by the call-takers; • The use of interrogatives which constrain callers' responses and make relevant a request for information .• The use of modal verbs and' If / Then Constructions' in the proffering of courses of action to callers • The use of ' Yes / No' interrogatives in the proffering of courses of action to callers • Empathetic formulations which are deployed following occurrences of caller crying The reporting of the findings back to the helpline staff and the application of these findings for their work are also discussed. The thesis as a whole contributes to the literature on the analysis of institutional interactions, particularly to the literature on the management of restricted practices in institutional settings.
Date January 2009
CreatorsMoore, John
PublisherLoughborough University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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