4. Debriefing and psychological safety for consumers and staff
For the consumer
Be mindful that consumers may experience a range of emotions during a discussion and remain emotional at its conclusion. Where this is the case, it is important that you:
- do not leave until the person has calmed down and you are sure they are feeling comfortable
- check on them via telephone later that day or early the next day
- follow up again via telephone for people who were particularly distressed
- tell your manager if you suspect that a discussion has had an adverse effect on a person, and they need more support or help. Your manager will be able to recommend options.
Just like consumers, you may experience a range of emotions during a discussion. It is important to be mindful of the impact that difficult discussions have on you or your team members. It is therefore important to:
- acknowledge and accept your own emotional state and arrange for a suitable colleague or supervisor to be available for debriefings, as needed.
- ensure that emotionally laden material that was raised in discussions is channelled into constructive criticism and feedback to health service managers.