BEING THERE: Jeff Lee has started a supportive listeners group in Gladstone.
BEING THERE: Jeff Lee has started a supportive listeners group in Gladstone. Matt Taylor GLA010119HEAR

Now listen here: a new service being offered in Gladstone

IN THIS noisy modern age finding someone who you can talk to and who will genuinely listen with interest is a rare thing.

Particularly if you have a weighty problem on your mind.

But this is precisely the unique service crisis counsellor Jeff Lee is offering, and best of all, it's free.

"I recently started looking for the best way to connect and serve people," he said.

"What could we do to head off potential domestic and family violence, self-harm or suicide.

"That's when I came up with the Supportive Listener's concept.

"Where people can have a highly respectful, non-judgemental conversation with an experienced listener."

Mr Lee stresses that he is not offering counselling or advice and has no ulterior motive other than to guide people who may be struggling or simply stuck.

"It's not about trying to control someone or have an agenda or be the expert," he said.

"We are there for support, to help stop the spiralling cycle of damaging thoughts and encouraging people to share their stories and test their own thinking.

"To allow them to think more rationally and be empowered by their own strengths in order to solve their own problems or guiding them toward the people or groups who can."

Mr Lee is keen to build a local network of supportive listeners.

"I'm encouraging other people to join me, to be empowered and build a community that can help itself," he said.

"They wouldn't necessarily have to be formally qualified, just people with a depth of feeling for other's who are suffering or who have been through their own personal life crises and wanting to learn the skills of supportive listening.

"They have to be curious, open and accepting of another person's experience and to be that confidante and sounding board."

He adds that his conversations are usually conducted in non-threatening, safe, public locations like parks, out having coffee or walking together.

"It's not a clinical or formal conversation," Mr Lee said. "It's more about simply being there for someone with a belief in their own ability to achieve goals."

"If you can help just one person that's all that matters.

"For some it's just nice to know it's there."

To learn more or to book a conversation, visit the Supportive Listeners Gladstone Facebook page or their website: https://supportivelisteners.com.au/



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