SHUSH and lis­ten to those who need help

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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