When is it okay to share stories and information from clients?
Why- It is your responsibility to protect this information, the client can share more openly if they know they can trust you.
If you have knowledge on a therapeutic technique (ie. cognitive Behavioural therapy) you can use it in your chats with clients.
Why- You are dealing with peoples lives, you need to receive formal training to ensure your competence in that method. It is an ethical requirement to not impose any harm on an individual.
If a client is showing signs of a mental disorder or confesses to having a mental disorder can you continue to chat to them?
Why- Many mental health sufferers also need emotional support and to be heard. However, Professional assistance is essential for these clients to be diagnosed and receive appropriate intervention.
It is okay to end the chat if you need to run errands, rest or prepare a meal?
Why- If you cannot commit to the duration of the chat, the client may feel rejected, that their problems are not important and that you do not care. At let’s Connect we encourage professionalism and dedication from volunteers so as to provide those in need with the support they deserve.
How should you NOT end off a chat with a client who still has a lot to discuss?
Why- You want to show the client that you care and what they have to say matters to you despite having to end the chat. Preparing them helps to bring the chat to a close and highlight the important parts or even realizations that occurred so that you end the chat on a positive note.
If a client is late for a chat what should you do?
Why- It is important to have boundaries even when clients are in distress. Good boundaries maintain a professional helping space and enforce mutual respect between client and volunteer
(IMPORTANT: If you are not a licensed professional, Suicidal clients should be referred immediately to professional suicide helplines in their country which can be found in the resources tab )
When is it okay to share your private information with a client or ask for such information? (Full name, phone number, place of work, email address, social media handles, physical address)
Why-By sharing or asking for private information you are providing a risk to your safety as well as the clients safety. Additionally, by maintaining anonymity, clients feel more comfortable to open up and receive support.
( Lets Connect Project will not be held responsible for your privacy and safety if you violate these terms and conditions )
Why do we refrain from giving clients advice?
Why- Often clients may ask for your advice or opinion. Instead try and ask the client what options they have and what the consequences of those options are. This way the client will explore what option is best for them. This further boosts the clients independence, self confidence and feelings of competence.
Active listening forms the basis of trust and respect. So how can we show the volunteer that we are actively listening to them?
Why- Active listening helps to avoid misunderstandings, allows the volunteer to understand the clients situation/feelings. This creates a space for the client to sometimes come to new realizations. Additionally, the client will feel that you are fully present and committed to supporting them.
What do you do if you don’t agree with a clients values or you feel uncomfortable discussing a particular matter with them?
Why- As volunteers its important to show acceptance and non-judgement to the client. Many individuals use this platform because they will receive judgment if they talk to family/ friends. You must be sensitive to the fact that we all differ in what we consider as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
If you are uncomfortable with a certain topic/person we recommend that you explain that you don’t have enough experience with that and feel that a different volunteer will be able to offer better assistance.