Link Companion
Suggestions / Warnings  

  • Listen to the individual carefully.  Most of the time, the fact that there is someone to listen allows the individual to let out his or her emotions and helps to see the situation more objectively.
  • Take the individual seriously.  Do not minimize the seriousness of the issue, even if it does not seem that serious to you.  For the individual experiencing the issue, it is serious; otherwise, the person would not have asked to meet with you.
  • Do not try to solve the issue for the individual.
  • Do not probe deeper than necessary, especially in situations of abuse.
  • If the individual is uncomfortable about contacting a service, offer your help.
  • When you decide on an action plan with the individual, plan a follow-up meeting.
  • Never play down suicidal ideas or intentions, even if you think the individual just needs attention.  Always make a referral to a professional to be sure.
  • Do not make promises you cannot keep.  People often want to have a guarantee of confidentiality before revealing something.  Try to make them understand that you are bound by laws to reveal information when someone's life is in danger or in situations of abuse and neglect.
  • When a youth under 16 years of age is referred to a professional service, the professional service may require parental consent.  However, no consent is required for The Link Companion to provide information.
  • In cases of abuse or neglect of youth under the age of 19 or 21 years with a handicap, the Link Companion, as any other citizen, has a legal duty to report the case to Child Protection in the Department of Social Development.
  • If possible, when dealing with youth, encourage them to talk to their parents.

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