This July we are supporting Samaritan’s annual awareness campaign, Talk to Us #WeListen.
At Digital Bricks, we constantly develop and teach a full suite of courses that help people learn the communication skills to respond to signs of poor mental health in themselves and others, both at home and at work. These courses include certified Mental Health First Aid and our own certified First Response course, which contains up-to-date awareness of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health in both the workplace and at home. Additionally, Mental Health Awareness for staff, managers and senior management can be tailored to suit your workforce. We also run courses on Suicide Intervention and a host of other courses that cover specific areas of mental health and wellbeing.
One of the tools that we offer to all our learners is the ability to signpost to the right help for anyone struggling with their mental health. The Samaritans are high on our list of signposting resources, and with good reason.
Who are the Samaritans?
Every year in July, across the UK and Republic of Ireland, The Samaritans hold local events in their branches and across social media to raise awareness about their work as part of their annual awareness campaign called Talk To Us. These events might be in the form of a picnic or an online/face-to-face chat group. You can also help by sharing their videos and activities across your own social media. Find out more about how to get involved here.
The Samaritans were set up in 1953 and have always had suicide prevention at the heart of their work. Now, the volunteers at Samaritans offer support for a range of life situations that are causing them distress. The Samaritans are here to listen to anyone who is struggling to talk about what is going on for them and share their thoughts at any time of the day or night. Although the organisation is non-religious, its name is derived from the biblical Parable of the “Good Samaritan”, meaning someone who helps a stranger.
Who can ring the Samaritans?
Anyone who needs help – that’s you, that’s me, that’s anyone who just needs to talk things through with someone who will listen without judgement. Often people do find it hard to open up with loved ones and family about their issues and a stranger or even a work colleague might be their outlet rather than sharing their worries with someone they are closer to.
How we can all learn to listen
When it comes to mental health, we are all working towards the same goal of getting people to open up, talk about what is going on for them and find support if and when they need it.
The skills that the Samaritan volunteers use include using open ended questions, summarising, reflecting and encouraging. By asking open ended questions we allow others to talk, by summarising and reflecting on what they have told us we allow the person to feel heard and understood, and by encouraging the person we enable them to see that they matter and hopefully guide them to seek professional help if they need it.
Our trainers at Digital Bricks also incorporate teaching these listening skills in our own work across our different courses too, and we also give practical examples to managers and staff as to how to actively listen to anyone who is struggling.
We advise that if someone is feeling suicidal or dealing with any other pressures that could cause suicidal feelings down the line, to encourage them to consider calling the Samaritans rather than struggle on feeling alone.
Find out more
You can contact the Samaritans either by calling or emailing 24/7:
Call – 116 123
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also a self help app that can be found here: https://selfhelp.samaritans.org/
Or you can take a look at their Facebook: