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Samaritans course aims to cut workplace stress

Samaritans has launched WorkLife, a new training programme that aims to help managers and teams tackle the causes of stress in the workplace.

WorkLife will complement the existing communications skills courses that are already delivered by the emotional support charity.

There are two purpose designed WorkLife courses - one for managers and another for managers and team members together.

The courses use a series of fictional characters to enable participants to explore challenging work situations without having to disclose their own experiences.

Samaritans says WorkLife includes aspects of their 'active listening skills' which are used by trained Samaritans volunteers and have now been adapted for use within the workplace.

A series of free road shows - which launched this week in Edinburgh - are aiming to give businesses a taster of what the training involves. Samaritans have also released research findings to coincide the launch. The survey found that one in five respondents believe their boss lacks training at handling employees' personal matters and over one in five say that their boss lacks the personality to do this.

Samaritans' project co-ordinator Jonathan Moran, stressed the importance of the WorkLife launch: "This is a prime opportunity to raise the profile of the charity with employers. Samaritans is already an established provider of communication skills training in the workplace and WorkLife is a natural extension of the training we currently provide to external organisations."

"I believe the survey's findings show that not enough is being done at ground level to tackle stress in the workplace and highlight the need for the sort of training we are offering.

Jonathan Moran added: "An academic study is being carried out over an 18 month period by our partners at Nottingham University which will measure the impact of WorkLife training. We are also developing a fully interactive version of the WorkLife programme on CD-ROM in conjunction with The Media Trust. This contains key elements of the training and will be available in the autumn."

WorkLife is being fully funded by Royal & SunAlliance as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives.

External link

For more information on the WorkLife programme, visit: www.samaritans.org/know/training/training_worklife.shtm

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