Samaritans are telling people to SHUSH! and listen during July.
As part of their month-long awareness-raising campaign, Talk to Us, Samaritans are on a mission to improve the UK’s listening skills with SHUSH! listening tips that it claims are ‘relationship transforming.’
Samaritans Listening Tips or S-H-U-S-H 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 with, for example,‘Tell me more’; Say it back: to check you have understood but don’t interrupt or offer a solution; and Have courage: don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence.
Every six seconds, someone in the UK and Ireland contacts Samaritans and every 90 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland someone takes their own life.
Good listening is hard but Samaritans believe it essential in bringing down the number of suicides.
Ian Hartley, director the local branch of the Samaritans, said: “We listen. That’s what we’re here to do when people contact us and sometimes it can be 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.
“This year we’re asking people all over the country to SHUSH! and listen better to each other.
“Sixty years of Samaritans’ expertise has taught us that just listening is the greatest gift you can give to somebody and that it can save lives.”