Managing Aggression

Aggression varies from threats to verbal abuse to physical abuse and violence.

 

What you can do

 

  • Assess your level of safety and ensure you can access an exit. Be aware of non-verbal signs that someone is becoming agitated

 

  • Keep a calm voice, do not stare, and avoid physical contact

 

  • If a difficult situation is developing, involve another member of staff. If there is no one close by then say you need to consult with a colleague, find someone, and ask for their help

 

  • Use time-out strategies that is, suggest the person behaving aggressively leaves, and returns when calmer

 

  • If you are very concerned for your safety or unable to manage the situation, then again find a colleague and ask them to phone the appropriate member of staff named in relevatn college procedures

 

  • If you are able to defuse the situation and the student becomes calmer and is willing to talk to you, try to find out what difficulties they might be experiencing.

 

  • Try to give them information about where they can get access to appropriate support

 

  • If you feel it is appropriate to stay with the student, remain in an open area with a visible means of escape. For example, sit closest to the door and do not let the student get between you and the door

 

  • Reassure that the student that you are better able to hear and support their concerns when they talk to you slowly, clearly and calmly

 

  • Make a written note of key points and action taken 

 

  • Speak with your line manager about your concerns and your actions as soon as possible

 

  • If appropriate, contact the Counselling Service Manager to arrange a debriefing session and handover written notes so that follow-up support can be initiated

 

Avoid

 

  • Staying in a situation in which you feel unsafe

 

  • Meeting alone with the student

 

  • Engaging in a screaming match or behaving in other ways that escalate anxiety and aggression

 

  • Touching the student or crowding their sense of personal space

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