Community Sector Banking
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  General

Guide to Help Staff Deal With People With a Mental Illness


Thursday, 14th April 2011 at 10:50 am
Staff Reporter
A new guide from Sane Australia is set to give practical advice to service delivery staff to improve the way they deal with people with a mental illness.

Thursday, 14th April 2011
at 10:50 am
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Guide to Help Staff Deal With People With a Mental Illness
Thursday, 14th April 2011 at 10:50 am

A new guide from Sane Australia is set to give practical advice to service delivery staff to improve the way they deal with people with a mental illness.

The SANE Guide for Customer Service gives practical advice for people working in service delivery, to improve how they interact with people with a mental illness, and so they are able to provide a better service.

SANE Australia says whether dealing with counter staff, call centres or other customer service outlets, people living with a mental illness often feel they are treated differently and, on occasion, discriminated against.

SANE says at the same time, customer service workers may encounter someone who seems anxious, confused or distressed because of the effects of mental illness. Feedback suggests staff often feel they don’t know how to deal with people in these situations.

The resulting exchange can lead to mutual misunderstanding, impatience, and distress, with the person in need missing out on important services and supports, according to SANE.

SANE Australia’s Executive Director Barbara Hocking says many customer service staff deal with people with a mental illness regularly, without realising it.

Hocking says when difficulties arise, it is important to know what to do to get the best outcome for everyone – better understanding and improved communication skills can make a big difference.

The SANE Guide for Customer Service has tips on do’s and don’ts; practical advice on language; information on mental illness and how it affects people as well as how to help someone in a crisis, and several cases studies suggesting ways to assist using the HELP communication model for customer service staff.

Hocking says she hopes the Guide will also play a part in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

Lecturer at the Australian Catholic University’s School of Social Work, Peter Humphries says the Guide reinforces the fact that customer service staff can manage difficult situations, if they treat people with respect.

Jeff, who has lived with schizophrenia for more than 25 years, says its important not to make assumptions about people.

He says one of the effects of his illness is that he speaks loudly and finds it difficult to moderate his voice. He says people tell him to stop yelling at them – they don’t think about what might be the cause.

The SANE Guide for Customer Service can be purchased from the SANE Australia website for $15 – http://www.sane.org/information/bookshop/details/72/23/sane-guides/sane-guide-for-customer-service 




Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

People with severe mental illness left behind in NDIS transition

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 16th April 2019 at 4:25 pm

Changing the political narrative this election

Michelle Blanchard

Tuesday, 16th April 2019 at 8:24 am

Therapy chickens bring joy to aged care home

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 15th March 2019 at 4:52 pm

Drugs and Alcohol a Coping Mechanism for Bullied Teens

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 4th March 2019 at 5:02 pm

POPULAR

Labor gives charities the spotlight in final days of election campaign

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 8th May 2019 at 4:57 pm

Is this the Australia we want?

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 7th May 2019 at 8:33 am

Why NFPs need to ask powerful questions

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th May 2019 at 3:46 pm

Measuring and Evaluating Social Outcomes Conference
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!