Support individuals who are distressed

Course description

Support individuals who are distressed

In this course, you will learn about why people that you support may experience distress, how to support them through periods of distress, and how to record and report incidents. 

There are many reasons for why a person may become distressed, every person is different. How people react to stress can be very different too. Whatever the reasons of their distress, it is
important that you are able to offer support and comfort, and to reduce and relieve the distress wherever possible.


You will learn how to help to support a person who is distressed using an individual and holistic approach to help to reduce and relieve their distress. The person’s condition can change, so it is also important that you know how to keep an eye on this.

In this course you will learn about:
1. causes and effects of distress
2. how to prepare to support individuals who are experiencing distress
3. how to support individuals through periods of distress
4. how to support individuals to reduce distress
5. how to record and report on an individual’s distress.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Causes and effects of distress

    • 1.1 Common causes of distress

    • 1.2 Signs that may indicate an individual is distressed

    • 1.3 How distress may affect the way an individual communicates

    • 1.4 How working with an individual who is distressed may impact on your well-being

  • 2

    Prepare to support individuals who are experiencing distress

    • 2.1 Accessing information and advice about supporting an individual through a time of distress

    • 2.2 Signs of distress that would indicate the need for specialist intervention

    • 2.3 How to access specialist intervention

    • 2.4 Sources of support to manage your feelings when working with an individual who is distressed

  • 3

    Support individuals through periods of distress

    • 3.1 Communicating empathy and reassurance in ways that respect an individual’s dignity, culture and beliefs

    • 3.2 Ways to alleviate immediate distress

    • 3.3 Adapting support in response to an individual’s reactions

    • 3.4 How to involve others in supporting an individual who is distressed

  • 4

    Support individuals to reduce distress

    • 4.1 Encouraging an individual to express thoughts and feelings about troubling aspects of their life

    • 4.2 Working with an individual and others to identify triggers for distress

    • 4.3 Working with an individual and others to reduce triggers or alleviate causes of distress

    • 4.4 Encouraging an individual to review their usual ways of coping with distress

  • 5

    Record and report on an individual’s distress

    • 5.1 Records relating to an individual’s distress and the support provided

    • 5.2 Reporting on periods of distress in line with agreed ways of working

    • Further reading and research