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Samaritans launch Talk to Us awareness month

  • 06/07/2016
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Listening skills are the focus of this year's campaign

Samaritans' Talk to us logo

Talk To Us is Samaritans annual awareness-raising campaign, which aims to highlight the work of the charity and the help it can provide.

2016's Talk To Us campaign launched on Tuesday 5 July 2016. This year, Samaritans are challenging the UK to become better listeners by testing its skills in a misheard lyrics quiz and sharing expert tips on how to be a better listener.

Samaritans’ misheard lyrics quiz puts country’s listening skills to the test

The charity is challenging the UK to up its game when it comes to its listening skills, with the help of a quiz to test your knowledge of song lyrics, or rather misheard song lyrics. And for people who hear Adele ‘chasing penguins’ rather than ‘chasing pavements’, or think Duffy is ‘begging you for birdseed’  instead of 'mercy', help is at hand with a set of listening tips based on Samaritans’ 60 years of listening expertise and the skills of its workforce of more than 20,000 volunteers.

Samaritans wants to encourage people to listen to the really important things their friends, family and colleagues need to tell them, and to actually devote some time and attention to being better listeners.

Samaritans' 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: ones that need more than a yes/no answer, and follow up, for example ‘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.

Comment from a Samaritans' volunteer

Samaritans' volunteer, Daniel Cheesman, says the tips work in all kinds of situations: “SHUSH! is Samaritans’ starting point for you to be a better listener. When I speak to people as a volunteer, I use these tips to create the necessary space for people to talk. As another benefit, my personal relationships have been transformed by my ability to be a better listener. You have to practise and you have to make them a habit but keep them handy and use them. I can guarantee you will learn new things about those around you. So try the quiz on our website, download the listening tips and help us spread the word!”

Comment from Samaritans' Head of Press and PR

Samaritans’ Head of Press and PR Lynsey Pollard said:  “We’ve all been there in the shower or the car, with the radio on, belting out an X-Factor worthy performance of a favourite tune. But how many of us thought Hot Chocolate were singing, ‘I remove umbilicals’, instead of ‘I believe in miracles’? That’s embarrassing, but you can get over it. In this busy distracting, mobile phone crazy world, Samaritans wants to encourage people to listen to the really important things their friends, family and colleagues need to tell them, and to actually devote some time and attention to being better listeners. When people feel listened to, it can save a life."

Contacting Samaritans

Anyone can contact Samaritans from any phone, even if you have no credit, on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

Find out more about Samaritans' Talk to us campaign

Take Samaritans' misheard lyrics quiz

Turn2us help

If you are in financial hardship, you can check your entitlement using our Benefits Calculator or find out whether you are eligible for charitable grant using our Grants Search.

The Turn2us Your Situation section contains information to help people in many common situations that people who use our services find themselves in.  We also have a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help.

Source: Samaritans Talk to Us press release (4 July 2016)

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