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Mental health charity urges islanders to listen

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Jersey Samaritans are offering helpful tips for islanders in efforts to prevent suicide.

It is part of the charity's awareness campaign called 'Talk To Us', which is aimed at getting people to improve their listening skills.

The charity's issued SHUSH, its top 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: that need more than a yes/no answer, & follow up e.g. ‘Tell me more’
  • Say it back: to check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution
  • Have courage: don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence.

Volunteers will be out in St Helier on Saturday 22nd July offering advice and information on how to support friends and relatives who may need help.

"Suicide is everybody’s business and we can all do our bit to encourage people to be better listeners and reach out for help if they need to.

“We’re a culture of people who love to give advice, love to give opinions and love the sound of our own voices. But this year we’re asking people all over the country to SHUSH and take time out to listen to others. 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."

– Mary Burnett, Director of Jersey Samaritans