SHUSH and listen to those who need help
AS part of its month–long annual awareness-raising campaign, ‘Talk to Us’, Hillingdon Samaritans are on a mission to improve the UK’s listening skills with SHUSH! listening tips that it claims are ‘relationship transforming’.
Every six seconds, someone in the UK and Ireland contacts Samaritans, and every 90 minutes in the UK and Ireland someone takes their own life.
Hillingdon branch director Donna Harris said: “We listen. That’s what we’re here to do when people contact us, and sometimes it can be really challenging. But you don’t have to be a Samaritan to be a good listener.
“We’re a culture of people who love to give advice, love to give opinions and, quite frankly, love the sound of our own voices.
“But this year we’re asking people all over the country to SHUSH! and listen better to each other.”
The Samaritans’ S-H-U-S-H listening tips are:
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/no answer and follow up by saying ‘Tell me more’.
Say it back to check you have understood, but do not interrupt or offer a solution.
Have courage. Do not be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, do not be afraid to leave silence.