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Training for your Organisation by Lifeline:

Managing emotionally distressed callers.

For 50 years Lifeline Aotearoa has specialized in providing telephone support to New Zealanders experiencing emotional distress.   

Using international best-practice and evidence-lead ‘brief-intervention’ support methodology, Lifeline staff and volunteers support nearly 500,000 New Zealanders each year across a range of community and government-funded helplines.

Increasingly, call centre staff in corporate and government organisations receive calls from emotionally distressed clients.

These calls can be challenging for staff to manage effectively and may result in staff stress, absenteeism and, ultimately, higher staff turnover.

Using Lifeline’s considerable experience together with international best-practice frameworks, Lifeline Aotearoa is pleased to offer a range of telephone training workshops and seminars to organisations.  Courses are designed to help staff successfully manage their interactions with emotionally distressed callers, in a way that supports both the caller and the staff member.


Training Content:

Participants learn key skills to maintain calm and in control throughout an interaction with an emotionally distressed caller, and how to de-escalate the behavior of aggravated, aggressive and distressed callers.  Through the training participants will be better equipped to:

  • Recognise patterns of conflict unique to communicating by telephone
  • Identify different stages of conflict escalation
  • Maintain their composure and professionalism during difficult phone calls
  • Use specific skills to structure and focus each call
  • Use a range of skills to de-escalate and prevent challenging behavior
  • Use coping strategies to manage the impact of conflict and aggression
  • Understand and practice self-care skills both during and after a call

    For information about Lifeline’s range of training seminars and workshops for emotionally distressed callers, please contact the Training Manager on (09) 909 8750 or at

    For details of Lifeline's suicide prevention and intervention training workshops, please click here