For 50 years Lifeline has specialised 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.  Recent changes to Health & Safety legislation mean this situation requires staff to be trained and confident in handling such calls, as well as knowing your organisations processes for providing further support.    

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

Our training seminars and workshops can be tailor-made to suit your organisation's requirements and can be anywhere from 1 hour to week long, depending on your needs.  We identify and focus on key areas specific to your business and ensure our training resources and participant activities support key identifiable learning outcomes  Areas we can support your staff safety and professional development include:

  • Recognising patterns of conflict unique to communicating by telephone
  • Identifying different stages of conflict escalation and knowing how to de-escalate within a call 
  • Recognising strategies to maintain calm and professional during difficult phone calls
  • Using specific skills to structure and focus a purposeful 'Helping Conversation'
  • Using a range of skills to identify suicide risk within a call, and understanding options for supporting a caller
  • Using organisational processes, and personal coping strategies to manage the impact of conflict and aggression
  • Understanding and practicing self-care skills both during and after a call

    For information about Lifeline’s range of tailor made training seminars and workshops, please contact the Training Manager, Carolyn Gibbs on (09) 909 8750 or at

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

    Our team really appreciated the training incorporating our existing guidelines and procedures, and our staff feel an increased confidence in identifying and knowing what to do if a client is talking about self harm or suicide. 
    NZ Banking Ombudsman Scheme - November 2016

    I thought the presentation was great and the trainer was excellent; very engaging and approachable.  I feel my knowledge has greatly improved as a consequence of the workshop and increased my general day to day awareness of suicide and self harm when I am dealing with clients.
    The learning outcomes were clearly explained, and I expected to learn about referral resources, which was covered.  Really useful and extremely informative.
    The whole group was fully engaged in listening and discussing our issues.  This was our best professional development session this year!

    SHINE New Zealand - November 2016

    Very appropriate to our programme, and tailored beautifully. 5 star!
    Good time limit.  Heaps of information.  Great powerpoints and workbooks.  Clear open communication – thank you!
    Excellent overall.  Really appreciate the real life experience  of a helping conversation that the trainer brought to the material.  It brought the theory to life in a very practical way.
    Many, many thanks for your excellent presentation received.  Saying it was well received by the team is an understatement.
    New Zealand Airline Pilots Association - Peer Support Team - November 2016