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During tough times young people in Ireland turn to two sources of support more than any others: the internet and our friends*. SpunOut.ie’s online “Listening is Helping” campaign aims to equip young people with the skills to actively listen to, and support, friends and family going through a tough time.
SpunOut.ie is today (October 5th) publishing content to empower our young readers with the information needed to become better listeners. The information includes how to react when a friend comes to you for help, to be able to recognise the boundaries of the support you can provide, the importance of self care and what to do in emergency situations.
We also speak to 3 SpunOut.ie readers who have lived experience of mental health difficulties and the 3 friends who offered them support during those difficulties to illustrate how important talking and listening were to them.
A sample of the ‘Listening is Helping’ campaign content:
“The aim of ‘Listening is Helping’ is to support young listeners when their friends reach out to them for help by using open questions, reflection, and encouragement.” says Ian Power, executive director of SpunOut.ie
“We are all beginning to fully understand the importance of talking about mental health and improving our literacy on the topic, but we shouldn’t forget to work on our listening skills too. Often for people experiencing difficulties, having someone to simply listen and be there for them can be hugely beneficial in and of itself.
“Listeners should know they usually don’t need to do anything more than listen. We can’t fix other people’s problems, but we can be there for them to help work through thoughts and hear what they are going through.” concludes Power.
For interviews contact
086 337 4171 // 01 675 3554
Notes to editors:
SpunOut.ie is Ireland’s youth information website by young people, for young people. We have a monthly readership of 85,221(Google Analytics, July 2015). SpunOut.ie is a registered charity.
*Source: My World Survey, Headstrong YMH, 2012/14 http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/MyWorldSurvey.pdf
‘Lending an ear is lending a hand’ is one of the protective factors for positive mental health identified and promoted by the HSE’s Little Things campaign of which SpunOut.ie is proud to be a partner.
Campaign website: SpunOut.ie/listening
Campaign hashtag: #LittleThings