Being Available

After the discussion, and over the long term, it is important that we be available for private discussion. Discussions about youth empowerment can trigger memories of bullying, social exclusion and aggression, drawing out difficult emotions in some students.

We can observe and monitor students’ responses throughout the discussion, in an attempt to be aware of those who seem troubled so we can follow up with them after the discussion. We will not necessarily pick up on students’ reactions, as some are adept at hiding these, so it is important to explicitly state that we are available to students who wish to talk with us further.

Saying It
"If anyone wants to talk more about the film, if there’s something that came up for you, or you didn’t get a chance to ask a question, please come see me. I’d be happy to talk more about it with you."

If approached, we need to try to remain accessible to those who ask to talk to us about their experiences. Our attentiveness and compassion are likely to mean a great deal to students.

For more information about COPA’s empowerment-based approach to listening and problem-solving, see the section on Healthy Communication in our Bullying Prevention module.