Working with Compassion is a toolkit to help people in Wales develop compassionate approaches at work and improve the interactions between staff, customers, clients or service users.

Working with Compassion has been designed to provide staff with facts and information, alongside real tips and actions which can be used in your daily working life. This toolkit can assist staff when talking to or helping someone who is experiencing poor mental health or emotional distress.

Showing compassion – towards yourself and others – is a skill that can be learned. Acting compassionately does not require any specific resource, time or money. It just relies on you being able to relate to someone else’s emotional state and, crucially, wanting to support them. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to be an expert to help someone experiencing distress. The most valuable thing is that they don’t feel alone and that they know someone cares.

Why have Samaritans Wales created it?

Many sectors, services and workplaces in Wales will interact with people who are experiencing emotional distress and it is important that we treat them with compassion. We need to recognise that they are not separate to us; we all encounter distress and 1 in 4 of us have poor mental health. Samaritans Wales want to encourage a culture where people are confident to ask for help and give help to others when they need it. We must remove the stigma surrounding emotional distress.

In order to encourage compassion in the workplace, Samaritans Wales have consulted with representatives from a diverse range of organisations, many of them frontline staff, from the police service to third sector organisations to job centres. Acting with compassion has many benefits. This toolkit isn’t just for the workplace; it has been designed to encourage you to act more compassionately in your own life, towards yourself and those around you.

Benefits for your workplace:

  • Learning to act with compassion can improve health, boost your wellbeing and strengthen your relationships.
  • The toolkit includes practical advice and tips for staff on the following: how to deal with difficult conversations, emotional distress – spotting the signs, mythbusting – knowing the facts, how to become a better listener, mental health crisis – what is it and what can I do?
  • Learning these skills and areas of knowledge can improve outcomes for staff and customers, clients, clients or service users. The compassion shown to them in these areas can affect how people perceive their interaction with individuals and services and can make them feel valued and cared for.
  • The toolkit includes a comprehensive list of useful organisations and helplines. These can be helpful if staff need to signpost a customer, clients or service user to some help.
  • Most importantly, compassion can change and save lives.

Get your workplace involved!

If you would like a hard copy of the toolkit or would like to order some for your staff or workplace, please contact Samaritans Wales.

This post was originally published on the Samaritans Wales’ website.