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Talking to someone in crisis during COVID-19

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a source of anxiety for people across the country and your colleagues, friends or family may reach out to you for support. How should you respond? Use our active listening tips to navigate these sensitive conversations with more confidence.

DO – Tell them you’re there to listen and help them find the next step 
DO – Practice empathy by considering the needs of people different than yourself, especially those in vulnerable populations.
DO – Pause to reflect on what the caller has told you and share back your understanding, showing the caller they’ve been heard
DO – Mirror back what you’re hearing in your own words rather than parroting what they’ve told you
DO – Validate the caller’s feelings and concerns.
DO – Ask if it’s OK to connect the person with other helpful resources, e.g., food bank, public health, employment insurance information)
DO – Provide specific websites and phone numbers. Make sure the resources you’re directing people to are currently available. When possible, connect the person directly to the resource.

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