‘Talk to us’ was the message from Worthing Samaritans during the national charity’s annual awareness month.
All through July, the Talk To Us campaign aimed to show there is always someone there to listen when people are going through a tough time.
Volunteers spent a day at Worthing Railway Station to share tips on how to be a better listener.
Samaritans are there day and night. In 2018, more than 20,000 people volunteered their time for Samaritans and a call for help was answered every six seconds.
Liz Riach, director at the Worthing branch, said: “Sometimes, we want to be there for someone but don’t know where to start. If you’re worried about someone, we recommend that you try talking to them.
“It’s okay if you’re not an expert, just listening can help someone work through what’s on their mind. We want to raise awareness that listening can save lives.”
The charity believes encouraging people to ask for support will make a difference in reducing the number of lives lost to suicide.
As part of Talk to Us, Worthing Samaritans has shared its SHUSH listening tips:
• 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: Go for something that needs more than a yes/no answer, for example ‘tell me more’
• Say it back: Check you have understood but do not interrupt or offer a solution
• Have courage: Do not be put off by a negative response and do not be afraid to leave silence
Worthing Samaritans is looking for more volunteers to help them stay open day and night to answer calls for help and support people in the area.
In addition, as part of its 50th anniversary this year, it is seeking 50 companies to donate £50 to the 50/50 fundraising campaign. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org