Call handlers are increasingly expected to take on higher volumes of calls, against a backdrop of reduced staffing levels and strictly enforced targets. This can contribute to poor mental health and wellbeing, leading to high levels of staff sickness and poor retention.
Call handlers experience a degree of ‘emotional turbulence’ due to the range of calls they receive – they often receive abusive, inappropriate and distressing calls which they don’t always feel equipped to handle.
Limited time for training, debriefing, or informal support has resulted in low levels of trust between staff and supervisors, and poor expectations of support services.
You cannot overestimate just how positive this whole programme has been for our staff. If I could do it every six months, I know I would have the same response. It’s just been amazing, amazing for staff.
Based on our research with call handlers and expert stakeholders from across the services, we developed this course tailored specifically for call handlers, covering:
• mental health awareness
• supporting callers with mental health problems
• Understand the definition of resilience and why emergency service workers need to build on their resilience
• Discover how resilient you are, and learn tools to help you build on and maintain your resilience.
• Increase awareness of mental health problems, including how to recognise signs and symptoms of mental health problems, and the impact of stigma and discrimination.
• Increased ability to recognise signs that a caller may have poor mental health.
• Managing challenging calls sensitively and in a structured way. Avoiding common pitfalls.
• Understanding the impact of your work on your own mental health, and where to go for support
Our evaluation has found that, as a result of the training course:
• 87% said they knew more about different mental health problems after the training.
• 94% said their knowledge of personal resilience had increased.
• 90% said they knew more about how to look after their wellbeing.
To read more about our course evaluation, please go to our website here.