Explain how to access extra support or services to enable individuals to communicate effectively. There are specialties organisations who offer appropriate support for those bereaved, experiencing relationship difficulties, feeling depressed and harm themselves. Be sure to have all the relevant contact details. Empathy Do not attempt to offer counseling unless you have been adequately trained and supervised practice. Do not under estimate the support you can provide by using good communication skills, genuine empathy and care for the people you support.
Encourage them to express how they feel about what is causing them worry, anxiety or distress. Empathy is a skill developed from good active listening, characteristic of a caring attitude, where a person can see beyond their own assumptions about the world and can imagine the thoughts and feelings of someone, who is quite different. Many situations can be resolved and distress reduced if the person can talk to someone who has good listening skills and can offer clear, practical advice and information.
If you feel the situation calls for more than you can offer, it is important that you recognize this and refer it to someone else who has the skills to deal with the situation. I have personally suffered from a number of personal tragedies and hardships and having been through them, know that sometimes all that is needed is to be listened to, most times advice is not needed, just someone to talk to, so I can organize my thoughts, and get it off my chest. Because I know, this I tend to be a really good listener and can sometimes guide the conversation to a place where the person in distress can find the ‘answer’ for themselves.
It can be difficult to deal with powerful emotions. People’s stories can move you to feel grateful or guilty for your own happier circumstances, or you could find your own difficulties echoed or brought to the surface. In this case it is important to talk to someone yourself and arrange for an impartial person to continue offering support to the person. Feeling concerned, upset or angry after an emotional experience is normal. One of the best ways to deal with this is to talk about it with your supervisor, line manager or friend, bearing in mind confidentiality.
However, if you find it is affecting your work, there are plenty of sources available to you, both within and outside your workplace. Talk to someone senior to access help you need. Distress to others can be upsetting, but you can develop your skills and knowledge, so you can identify distress, work towards reducing it and offer effective help and support to those experiencing it. Then you are making a useful and meaningful contribution to the provision of quality care.