'Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration.'

Working or volunteering in an open access drop-in for individuals who have, or have had a substance use problem can be extremely challenging at times. Let's be honest and recognise that people are not always polite, reasonable or well behaved. Yet to run an effective service, we cannot bar everyone person who comes in off the back of a bad day or a little worse for wear. So, the question is, how do we manage difficult and challenging behaviour . . . 

  • What do we consider to be difficult or aggressive behaviour?
  • What do we think some of the reasons behind such behaviour might be?
  • The best way of dealing with a potentially difficult situation is to spot it early. What are the signs?
  • What do you do if the problem is between two service users?
  • How do you diffuse a situation successful, while avoiding the possibility of escalation?
  • What part does the service user contract play in managing a difficult situation?
  • In dealing with an angry or abusive individual, how do you keep yourself and your colleagues safe?
  • What part does team work play in these situations, and how is it best used effectively?
  • What are the challenges in managing a difficult situation and how do you prepare yourself?
  • What do you do when a situation gets out of control?
  • What happens next?

This workshop looks at the means for diffusing difficult situations, dealing with upset individuals, and where necessary barring people from accessing a service. Here we look at running a tolerant and supportive service that recognises many of our service users are having a difficult time, while keeping the same service safe and friendly.