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Empowering Communication

Listening Skills: Training Module

Introduction: Listening Skills

Designed as a stand-alone module, this course provides a comprehensive, in-depth exploration of the listening skills essential for providing effective mental health first aid in Scotland. The Listening Skills course, developed to build upon the successful Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) program, aims to equip participants with the confidence, knowledge, and techniques required to offer empathetic and constructive support to those experiencing mental health challenges.

Many people feel unheard and misunderstood, often exacerbating mental health struggles. The ability to listen attentively and respond empathetically can make a significant difference in the lives of those around you. By focusing on the core listening skills, this course empowers you to become an active listener and valuable support network to friends, family, and colleagues in need.

The Listening Skills course is designed for individuals from all walks of life, including educators, healthcare professionals, social workers, human resource personnel, or anyone looking to enhance their listening abilities and better support those experiencing mental health challenges. No prior experience in mental health first aid is necessary to participate in and benefit from this course.

By the end of this transformative course, you will have gained valuable insights into the powerful role of active listening in mental health first aid, empowering you to make a positive difference in the lives of those around you. Embrace the opportunity to become a skilled, compassionate listener and join us on this important journey to strengthen the support network for mental health in Scotland.

What are: Listening Skills?

In the mental health context, listening skills refer to the ability to actively and empathetically pay attention to someone’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns, without judgment or interruption. Effective listening skills are essential for mental health professionals, such as therapists, counsellors, and psychologists, as well as for anyone supporting someone who is facing mental health challenges. Cultivating strong listening skills can foster trust, empathy, and understanding in therapeutic relationships and personal connections.

Key components of listening skills in the mental health context include: Active listening, Empathy, Nonverbal cues, Open-ended questions, Paraphrasing and reflecting, Validation, Avoiding judgment and Patience. Developing and practicing effective listening skills can enhance communication, foster deeper connections, and provide valuable support to individuals experiencing mental health challenges.

The Problem: Common misconceptions about Listening Skills


Underestimating the power of listening

Many people may not recognise the immense impact that attentive listening can have on an individual's mental health. They may assume that listening is passive and does not contribute significantly to the healing process.

Believing that advice is always necessary

Some individuals may believe that providing advice is more important than simply listening. This mindset can lead to interruptions, unsolicited suggestions, or solutions that may not be helpful or even counterproductive for the person in need.

Dismissing listening as a "soft skill"

Some people may view listening skills as less important than other "hard skills" or professional qualifications in mental health care. This attitude can undermine the significance of empathetic listening in building trust and providing effective support.

Judging and forming opinions

A negative attitude towards listening may involve making judgments about an individual's experience or forming opinions about their mental health before truly understanding their perspective. This can create barriers to open communication and hinder the development of trust.

Fear of vulnerability

Some individuals may be hesitant to engage in active listening due to concerns about their own emotional vulnerability. They might fear becoming overwhelmed by the emotions of the person they are supporting, leading them to avoid deep, empathetic listening.

Impatience for immediate solutions

In a mental health context, individuals may feel an urge to quickly "fix" problems or find immediate solutions. This impatience can result in neglecting the importance of attentive listening and giving the person in need the time and space to share their experiences and feelings openly.

Not valuing Listening Skills in the Mental Health context is common: There's something you can do for yourself, your friends, your family and your colleagues...

Listening Skills: Why should you undertake this training?

As a stand-alone course, the Listening Skills module provides essential skills and knowledge that can be applied in various settings, including schools, workplaces, and communities. By participating in this transformative learning experience, you will not only be investing in your own personal and professional growth, but also contributing to a broader societal effort to create a more supportive and understanding environment for those facing mental health challenges. Together, we can foster a more empathetic and proactive Scotland, one conversation at a time.


Improved communication

Developing active listening skills enables participants to communicate more effectively in both personal and professional relationships, fostering stronger connections and understanding.

Enhanced empathy

The course helps participants develop a greater sense of empathy, allowing them to better understand and support the emotional needs of those struggling with mental health issues.

Increased awareness

The module increases awareness of common mental health issues, their symptoms, and the importance of providing appropriate support, which can be applied in everyday situations.

Skill development

Participants will learn practical techniques for active listening, including verbal and non-verbal cues, that can be employed in various contexts to provide empathetic support.

Confidence building

The course equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to confidently engage in conversations about mental health and offer meaningful assistance.

Overcoming barriers

The module provides strategies for overcoming communication barriers and handling difficult conversations with sensitivity and respect, contributing to more inclusive and supportive environments.

Creating safe spaces

Participants will learn how to establish safe, non-judgmental spaces for open communication, which can significantly impact the well-being of those experiencing mental health challenges.

Personal growth

Developing listening skills can contribute to personal growth, enhancing emotional intelligence and self-awareness, which in turn can lead to better decision-making and stronger relationships.

Professional development

For those in professions such as education, healthcare, social work, or human resources, mastering listening skills can enhance their professional capabilities and provide them with valuable tools for supporting clients, students, or colleagues.

The Good news: There is a training module which will enhance your understanding, and foster empathy and support for those experiencing mental health challenges

Three Hour Module: Listening Skills

Discover the potential to transform lives through the power of empathetic listening with the Listening Skills module. This comprehensive, three hour course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to offer understanding and compassionate support to those facing mental health challenges. In a world where genuine connection is often lacking, the art of active listening can make a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of individuals in need: The Listening Skills module delves into the key components of active listening in the context of mental health first aid.

Learn to create a safe, non-judgmental environment that encourages open communication, and acquire techniques to navigate communication barriers and handle sensitive conversations with grace. This course is ideal for professionals in education, healthcare, social work, and human resources, as well as anyone seeking to improve their listening abilities and provide effective support to friends, family, or colleagues experiencing mental health challenges. Take the first step towards becoming a skilled and compassionate listener and play an essential role in building a stronger mental health support network in Scotland.

What does the “Listening Skills” Module Cover?


Importance of active listening

The course emphasises the significant role that active listening plays in mental health first aid, highlighting its impact on an individual's well-being and the establishment of trust and rapport.

Components of active listening

Participants explore the essential elements of active listening, including verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, which demonstrate empathy, understanding, and support to the person in need.

Recognising signs and symptoms

The module helps participants identify common signs and symptoms of mental health issues, enabling them to recognise when someone may need help and initiate supportive conversations.

Creating a safe space

The course teaches practical strategies for establishing a non-judgmental and safe environment, fostering open and honest communication between the listener and the person experiencing mental health challenges.

Overcoming communication barriers

Participants learn techniques to navigate communication barriers, such as cultural differences, personal biases, or emotional reactions, and effectively handle difficult conversations with sensitivity and respect.

Self-care and personal well-being

The module emphasises the importance of maintaining personal well-being while supporting others, providing tips and strategies for self-care to ensure a sustainable and healthy approach to offering mental health first aid.

How does the "Listening Skills" module work?


The module takes 3 Hours,  providing a focussed and comprehensive learning experience.

Small Group Sizes

Classes, of 8-16, are kept small to facilitate personalised attention, encourage active participation, and foster a supportive learning environment.

Interactive Learning

The course features a mix of presentations, group discussions, case studies, videos, and role-playing exercises to ensure a practical, hands-on learning experience.


Instructors maintain a safe and confidential space for participants to share their experiences and ask questions without judgment.

Ready to find out more? Contact Us Today

Why Train with Green Ribbons?

Unraveling the Threads of Mental Well-being

Green Ribbons is dedicated to delivering high-quality Mental Health First Aid training in Scotland, empowering individuals to recognise mental health challenges, provide support, and foster a culture of empathy and understanding. By tying together knowledge, empathy, and resilience our accessible mental health training promotes understanding, reduces stigma, and enables individuals, businesses and communities to prioritise mental well-being. Everyone benefits from Mental Health Awareness Training

Our Experience
  • 30 Years working within the Mental Health sector
  • Experience across a range of Third-Sector Organisations
Our Specialties
  • Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA)
  • Tailored SMHFA Training
  • Individual Mental Health Awareness Modules
  • One-to-one Training & Coaching
Our Approach
  • Empathy & compassion
  • Inclusive
  • Evidence-based and up-to-date
Our Areas
  • Moray
  • Highland
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Aberdeen City
  • …across Scotland

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