Responding to Challenging Calls

About the event

Attendees will learn how to respond appropriately and effectively to challenging service users and explore strategies and approaches for managing such challenges within your service remit. They will examine different types of challenging contacts and explore techniques for effective responses.

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Attendees will identify and practice skills and techniques for managing contacts presenting these common challenges:

  • reluctant to talk or silent
  • circular or indecisive
  • needs are outside the service remit
  • angry or abusive
  • emotional and distressed
  • complaining or reflecting responsibility onto handler

Who should attend?:
This course is for those who have attended foundation-level training in helpline skills and have some helpline experience.

Helplines Learning Pass: Book anyone on 3 or more training courses and receive a 10% discount. Find out more

Cancellation Policy: By booking you are agreeing to our Cancellation Policy

Onsite Delivery: This course can be delivered onsite and also tailored to make case studies relevant to your helpline. To find out more contact us on 0300 330 7777 or

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Sonya McMullan

BSSC Social Policy and Sociology, MSSc Human Rights Law and Criminal Justice and BLegSci in Law.

Sonya is a qualified trainer and is accredited through Institute of Learning and Management, and is an accredited facilitator and assessor through the Open College Network in Northern Ireland.

Sonya manages the 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline in Northern Ireland which is managed by Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland. Sonya has been employed by Women’s Aid for 15 years and her experience includes training, support, supervision, management, whilst also being responsible for the operational and strategic management and governance of the helpline.

Sonya develops accredited training programmes and training materials for the Helpline and Women’s Aid.

Sonya is the designated Child Protection Officer within the Helpline and the Risk Assessment Co-ordinator.

Sonya has been working with Helplines Partnership to develop and deliver helpline training to a range of organisations throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland for the last seven years and her training has always been well received especially because her "helpline experience really enriches the learning" (Rural Support).