How to support people in distress

Develop better communication skills to support a colleague, client, friend or stranger in distress.

Lifeline Training’s Accidental Counsellor course is aimed at people who want to safely and effectively support friends, family, colleagues and strangers who are in distress or experiencing a crisis.

The course will provide you with basic skills and a structure to enable you to provide immediate support and assistance using the “Recognise, Respond, Refer” model.

The skills learnt in the Accidental Counsellor course can be applied in many contexts, and will provide participants with skills in:

  • Active listening.
  • Calming.
  • Effective gentle questioning.

You will also learn how to ask openly about suicide risk and respond safely whatever the answer.

The course is open to anyone and no pre-existing skills or knowledge are required.

Please note: The Accidental Counsellor course does not qualify you to be a counsellor or provide ongoing support. Participants will not receive any counselling qualification at the end of this training.


This workshop has a blended delivery:

  • 2-hour self-paced eLearning.
  • 4-hour face to face or virtual workshop

Resources: Printed copy of slides.

Course brochure

  • Accidental Counsellor Workshop brochure
    354.64 KB
    Download pdf
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