Last night, I had my last “SIT1” training evening with The Samaritans. I’ve got a full day session to go – where we learn about some of the email and admin side of things, find out who our assigned mentors are and get our official ‘number’. It’ll have a ‘P’ after it for probation for a few months – I’ve got a few more follow up sessions next year (“SIT2”) but I’ve just about finished the main chunk of training.
It went well (I think). It’s been a brilliantly crafted course. At first, I didn’t quite understand why they were doing some of the things the way they did. Why they were putting such an importance on us understanding certain things. Someone said to me, something along the lines of – stick with it, you’ll understand the meaning of it all by the time you get to the end of the SIT1 training. I’m glad they did. I now do get it.
Last night, I had a role play (“skills practice”) -a simulated ‘walk in caller’. Someone I’d never met before, came in and acted the part of someone who was in need of emotional support and was suicidal. I’m not going into details, but suffice to say, it testing the ‘advanced’ end of my training. I’m really pleased with the way I handled it. My training ‘kicked in’. I remained calm, non judgemental, and said and asked all the right stuff. The training provides a framework of what to do, what to say and what not to say. Thinking back to how I would have handled that caller a few weeks ago at the start of my training – I’d have been all over the place. I’d have crumbled and made a right mess of it. I’m still not sure how I’m going to feel when it’s for real, but at least I’m confident that I’ve got the discipline of it pretty much sorted.
It’s still a while before I’ll be taking any real callers, but.. I feel ready. Confident and ready.
I’ve blogged my progress with the Samaritans tag on this blog by the way, if you’re interested.