Samaritans kicked off their annual month-long awareness campaign ‘Talk to us’ last week to encourage people to improve their listening skills.
Volunteers will be visiting Grantham and Newark railway stations to hand out their SHUSH listening tips and highlight the support they provide for the community.
Samaritans believes that listening is crucial to helping people find their way through their problems, and the charity would like to encourage people to seek help early, rather than when they reach a crisis.
Every six seconds, someone in the UK and Ireland contacts Samaritans, and every 90 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, someone takes their own life.
Director from Grantham, Margaret Baker said: “Suicide is everybody’s business and we can all do our bit to encourage people to be better listeners and reach out for help if they need to. This year we’re asking people all over the country to SHUSH and take time out to listen to others. Listening is the greatest gift you can give to somebody, and it can save lives.”
SHUSH listening tips:
- Show you care: focus just on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone
- Have patience: it may take time and several attmepts before a person is a ready to open up
- Use open questions: that need more than a yes/no answer and follow up e.g. ‘Tell me more.’
- Say it back; to check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution
- Have courage: don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence.
For more information, visit: www.samaritans.org or call free at any time on 116 123.