Samaritans launch Talk to Us awareness month
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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
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