One day ‘supporting callers who are experiencing mental distress’

Course aims: by the end of this course learners will have:

  • reflected on the types of phone calls they find most challenging and started to develop strategies to better manage them
  • understood how mental distress may affect a caller’s communication and how best to respond
  • practiced the structured HELP model of supporting callers who may be experiencing mental distress
  • understood the particular challenges involved in taking phone calls from people in mental distress and how to access support for themselves

Course outline

  • how mental distress may affect people who call this service
  • what types of call do you find most challenging?
  • identifying when callers may be in mental distress by what they say and how they say it
  • proactively broaching the topic of mental health with callers
  • the HELP model for managing calls which are challenging either in content or tone or both
  • the power of reflective listening and conveying empathy
  • how anxiety and fear affects how people speak on the phone, and how to promote positive interactions
  • best practice in responding to callers who are angry or who make threats
  • when callers express suicidal thoughts – how to interact, risk assess and access help for the caller and yourself
  • reflecting on current stressors and challenges within the team
  • looking after your own mental health at work – the stress bucket model
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