Encouraging more people to talk to Samaritans if they're struggling to cope.
Every July Samaritans charity highlights the power of talking as part of its Talk to Us awareness campaign. Talking is often the best way to start feeling better - it not only provides connection, comfort, and understanding but also prevents feelings of loneliness and isolation. The 24th of July - '24/7' is Samaritans Awareness Day and it's a chance to share the message that their volunteers are available to listen, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Samaritans have answered more than 134 million calls from people struggling to cope over the last 70 years.
talk to SAMARITANS
If you feel that you are not coping and there’s nobody that you can talk to, get in touch with Samaritans who can support you. Whatever you are going through, their trained volunteers are there 24/7 to talk with you. They'll focus on your thoughts and feelings, and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles. Calls are free, anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential.
'Finding your way – A guide for anyone who is struggling to cope' can provide you with some guidance and support. This booklet from Samaritans is a non-clinical resource aiming to help people identify when they’re struggling to cope early on, to stop them from reaching crisis point.
You can also try Samaritans Self-Help app to keep track of how you're feeling, and get recommendations for things you can do to help yourself cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.
Samaritans are also encouraging all of us to become better listeners. Reaching out to someone you believe may be struggling could help them know that someone cares about them. There is no perfect recipe or format for a conversation, but S.H.U.S.H. listening tips from Samaritans can help you to make sure you’re approaching the conversation in a helpful way and that you give the best support you can.
Show you care
To really listen to somebody, you need to give them your undivided attention – focus on other person, maintain eye contact and be fully engaged.
It may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up.
Use open questions
These questions need more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. They can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and can also help you to understand their experience better.
Say it back
Repeating something back to somebody is a really good way to reassure them that they have your undivided attention.
Don’t be put off by any negative responses from the person and don’t feel that you have to fill a silence during conversation. The most important thing is that you are there for someone to open up.
To approach someone, I’d say trust your instincts. You don’t need training or skills to listen. People need someone to listen more than anything.
Support Samaritans and get involved on social media this 24 July by pledging to be a better listener. Download Samaritans materials and share your pledge with your family, friends and colleagues on social media.
employees' mental health in the workplace
Employers can promote and embrace Talk to Us Month from a health and wellbeing perspective as part of helping to create an environment of openness and understanding about mental health in the workplace. Poor mental health can have adverse effect both on employees and organisations including the cost of mental health-related absence, presenteeism, increased staff turnover, as well as the challenges managers face in terms of managing staff who may be feeling anxious, stressed, or unable to cope. Therefore, it's crucial for workplaces to adopt a proactive approach to mental wellbeing and provide employees with appropriate help to stop them reaching a breaking point.
In 2022, the CIPD found that poor mental health was the most common cause of long-term sickness absence in UK workplaces, while Mind’s 2021/22 Workplace Wellbeing Index found that 70% of employees have experienced poor mental health in their lives.
These free resources can help you to implement a comprehensive approach to managing the mental health of your staff:
Mental wellbeing at work from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
At Corazon Health we can also help you adopt a range of measures in order to support your employees:
Telephone and Face to Face Counselling
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Mental Health Webinars & Workshops
Health Leadership Courses
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Courses
If you would like to find out more about our services and how you can support your staff, get in touch with us.