Glossop Advertiser - - News - Nas­rin Fazal

SHUSH! It’s time for us all to lis­ten. Lis­ten­ing saves lives. It’s what we do as an or­gan­i­sa­tion and it’s some­thing every­one could do bet­ter.

That’s why na­tion­ally and in the North West Samar­i­tans has been work­ing with bar­bers and hair­dressers dur­ing the past month – some of the best lis­ten­ers in the busi­ness.

We have been try­ing to show how it’s pos­si­ble for each and ev­ery one of us to build up our lis­ten­ing skills to help a friend, rel­a­tive, fam­ily mem­ber or work col­league who may be go­ing through a tough time.

Three times more peo­ple die by sui­cide than from road ac­ci­dents.

Samar­i­tans vol­un­teers re­ceive in­ten­sive train­ing to be­come re­ally good lis­ten­ers, but this is a skill we can all learn and that was the mes­sage taken out across the re­gion dur­ing ‘The Big Lis­ten’ day last month.

Us­ing the SHUSH lis­ten­ing tips, we want to make Greater Manch­ester and the whole of the UK bet­ter lis­ten­ers and to em­pha­sise the value of talk­ing through prob­lems if peo­ple are strug­gling.

There are 160,000 hair­dressers and bar­bers in the UK, and they make up one per cent of the work­force.

It is es­ti­mated they each spend nearly 2,000 hours a year lis­ten­ing to their clients.

As hair­dresser and Gog­gle­box star Stephen Webb told us: “Over time, you re­alise that the per­son sit­ting in front of you could be in real need of a chat.

“A mas­sive part of my job is to sim­ply lis­ten and as a hair­dresser, we take our role as lis­ten­ers very se­ri­ously.

“You go through so many things with your clients: deaths, births and mar­riages, and you’re there for each other ev­ery step of the way.”

The bet­ter we all be­come at lis­ten­ing, the fewer peo­ple will feel they need to suf­fer in si­lence or be­come over­whelmed by their prob­lems.

So here are the SHUSH tips for you to try out on a friend, rel­a­tive or work col­league:

Show you care: fo­cus just on the other per­son, make eye con­tact, put away your phone.

Have pa­tience: it may take time and sev­eral at­tempts be­fore a per­son is ready to open up.

Use open ques­tions: that need more than a yes or no an­swer and fol­low up by say­ing, for ex­am­ple: “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 don’t be afraid to leave si­lence.

For any­one who feels they can’t talk to some­one they know, Samar­i­tans is there in con­fi­dence, free to call at any time.

Sui­cide is the big­gest killer of men aged un­der 50 and of men and women aged 20-34, with those from more de­prived com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble.

Ev­ery six sec­onds, some­one in the UK and Ire­land con­tacts Samar­i­tans.

We be­lieve that lis­ten­ing is cru­cial to help­ing peo­ple find their way through their prob­lems, and want to en­cour­age peo­ple to seek help early, rather than when they reach a cri­sis.

As well as re­spond­ing to calls, emails, text and let­ters, our vol­un­teers here in Greater Manch­ester and across the UK talk to peo­ple face to face.

They also of­fer emo­tional sup­port ev­ery­where from schools, work­places, com­mu­ni­ties, fes­ti­vals and events to pris­ons, hospi­tals, courts, cus­tody suites, home­less shel­ters and food banks.

If you per­son­ally want to make a dif­fer­ence in 2017, why not think about do­nat­ing some money or some of your time to Samar­i­tans to help keep our life-sav­ing ser­vices go­ing?

Samar­i­tans free helpline num­ber is 116 123. Calls to this helpline num­ber do not ap­pear on phone bills.

You can also con­tact us on 0161 236 8000 for emo­tional sup­port (lo­cal call charges ap­ply).

Na­tion­ally and lo­cally Samar­i­tans is de­pen­dent on help and dona­tions to con­tinue the work we do.

To help us in our vi­tal fundrais­ing ef­forts we have also set up a Just Giv­ing page.

We value all dona­tions, no mat­ter how big or small.

Ev­ery lit­tle helps and any­one who wants to give can now visit www. just­giv­ samar­i­tans­man­ch­ester­sal­ford/

Text Here24 and the amount you’d like to give us­ing the num­ber 70070 (for ex­am­ple Here24 £5).

To find out more about join­ing us as a vol­un­teer or a Friend of Samar­i­tans email manch­ester@ samar­i­ Also fol­low us on Twit­ter @Sam­sManch­ester

Nas­rin Fazal of Manch­ester and Sal­ford Samar­i­tans

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