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Sunday, 31 July 2016 17:36

Active Listening Roleplay

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Mary is an Active Listener. Samantha is a potentially suicidal student.

Mary: Hi Sam, can I help you? I'd be happy to listen to you, if you want.

Samantha: Ah— (silence)...

Mary: You seem quite upset. Can you tell me about it?

Samantha: I don't know. Nobody wants to listen to me. Why should you?

Mary: I do and I am here to listen.

Samantha: I really need to talk to someone, but I'm afraid.

Mary: So, you're feeling pretty scared.

Samantha: Yeah, scared and embarrassed

Mary: It must be difficult for you to come here to see me.

Samantha: You don't know how difficult this is.

Mary: Now that you're here, why don't you tell me what's bothering you.

Samantha: I ... I tried it last night

Mary: What did you try last night?

Samantha: It's too awful to say. (Silence)

Mary: I'll wait

Samantha: I.., I...ah, ah...I..., I tried to kill myself last night!

Mary: Why don't you tell me about what's got you so upset that you are thinking about killing yourself.

Samantha: I don't want to live anymore. John said he doesn't want to go out with me anymore. I can’t believe he doesn't care about me anymore.

Mary: You must really love him.

Samantha: Yeah, I do. How could he do that to me? How could he? We've been going out since 1st year.

Mary: Did you have any idea that John was going to break up with you?

Samantha: No, we had a great time this past weekend He never said anything. How could he do this to me?

Mary: (silence)

Samantha: I really love him and I can't live without him.

Mary: Did you tell him that, Anne?

Samantha: Yeah, but it didn't make any difference. He said it wasn't another girl, he just wanted to be free.

Mary: What did that make you feel like?

Samantha: Scared and angry!

Mary: You must have felt pretty angry, huh?

Samantha: I was furious, I haven't been that angry since my parent's divorce. Dad just left. He said he loved me, but I never see him anymore. Everyone I love ends up leaving me. I must be an awful person that no one can possibly love.

Mary: First your father left and now John. Are you feeling like it's your fault?

Samantha: Yeah, nobody cares about me, why shouldn't I kill myself?

Mary: You said you tried to kill yourself last night. Tell me about it.

Samantha: I took a bunch of pills. Sleeping pills, I think. I got really scared and made myself throw up.

Mary: Do you really want to die?

Samantha: No, but I can't stand this pain anymore. Why does everyone leave me? I feel so all alone.

Mary: Have you talked to your mother about how you feel?

Samantha: No, I couldn't do that to her. She has her own problems.

Mary: What about your school counsellor, Mrs. Martel ? Or maybe Mr. Federicks?

Samantha: No, I can't just go walking up to Mr. Federicks and tell him I'm thinking of killing myself.

Mary: Everyone really likes Mr. Federicks, he really cares about his students. I think you could talk to him.

Samantha: Maybe after class tomorrow, after everyone is gone. I might be able to.

Mary: You might even be able to talk to him today, after school. He usually stays around for quite a while after the bell.

Samantha: Would you come with me? You don't have to say anything, just be there. Please?

Mary: O.K. I’ll meet you in front of the cafeteria at 2:00 and I'll go with you to see Mr. Federicks. I’m really glad that you came to see me today and shared with me how you're feeling.

Samantha: Thanks for agreeing to come with me. See you at the end of seventh period.

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More in this category: « Guide to Active Listening

Warning Signs

Warning signs may include but are not limited to:
Withdrawing from family and friends
Having difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
Sleeping too much or too little
Feeling tired most of the time
Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight
Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty
Talking about suicide or death
Self-destructive behaviour like drinking too much or abusing drugs
Losing interest in favourite things or activities
Giving away prized possessions
Mood swings
IMPORTANT
If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If they have expressed an immediate plan, or have access to prescription medication or other potentially deadly means, do not leave them alone. Get help immediately.

Helplines

The Samaritans116 123
Pieta House1800 247 247
Aware1890 30 33 02
ISPCC Childline1800 66 66 66
Teen-Line Ireland1800 83 36 34

Contact Us

Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland (RCN20070670)
59 High Street
Killarney
Co Kerry V93 N977
Tel 021 - 242 7173
Email admin@yspi.eu