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November 20, 2013

The Office of the Ombudsman recently organized a day workshop entitled ‘Handling Challenging Contacts with Suicide Awareness’. The training was delivered by Ms Pearl McMullan, a qualified training professional from the Samaritans Organisation who is experienced in working across a wide range of organisations.
1st Day - Participants of the Samaritan's workshop at the School of Health Studies at St Bernard’s Hospital 
There was a lot of interest in the workshop so it was decided it would be ran on two consecutive days; On Thursday 14th November 2013 it was held at the School of Health Studies at St Bernard’s Hospital and was attended by staff from the Gibraltar Health Authority, Care Agency, Civil Status and Registration Office and Childline Gibraltar. On Friday 15th November the workshop was held at Bleak House Training Institute and saw public services such as the Prison Service, Housing Authority, Human Resources Department, Department of Social Security, Royal Gibraltar Police, Gibraltar Fire Brigade, Customs as well as the Citizens Advise Bureau and the staff of the Ombudsman Office in attendance.
2nd Day - Participants of the Samaritan's workshop at Bleak House Training Institute
The aim of the training course was to develop the participants’ skills and confidence to acknowledge difficult circumstances and feelings; enabling them to deal with contacts effectively, sensitively and professionally with the candidates able to:
• Understand difficult feelings and circumstances
• Use effective listening tools and techniques
• Defuse difficult contacts
• Use appropriate responses to sensitive subjects
• End contacts effectively 
• Provide support for users and colleagues