Octopus imprint Kyle Books has acquired How to Listen by charity Samaritans.
Judith Hannam, editorial director at Octopus, acquired world rights in all languages from Katie Colombus, assistant director of communications at Samaritans.
Samaritans has been providing "non-judgemental emotional support" for 65 years. With more than 20,000 volunteers across the UK, the charity responds to a call for help every six seconds from those who are struggling to cope with life’s challenges.
The "friendly and approachable" book will draw on the experience of Samaritans in offering practical advice to apply to your own life, plus helpful tips from trained Samaritans on how to adapt these for different situations, so that each of us can be a better partner, friend, parent and colleague, says the publisher.
HRH The Prince of Wales, patron of Samaritans, has written a foreword to the book. Other contributors include Sir Michael Palin, who will write an introduction and Samaritans ambassadors, Dame Julie Walters and Gail Porter.
The title will be published on 7th January 2021, to coincide with Samaritans Brew Monday campaign.
Hannam said: "One in four adults struggle with their mental health. Lockdown has further added to the pressures many face, at the same time restricting access to the help they need. I am therefore absolutely delighted that Kyle Books is partnering with Samaritans, one of the most respected organisations in the UK, on this timely and important book."
Colombus commented: "In this time of covid pandemic it's never been more apparent that our mental wellbeing is equally as important as our physical health. It's so important that we take time to check in and connect with our loved ones—whether friends, family members, partners, colleagues or neighbours—to talk about how we are feeling, and listen to one another in a way that can prevent feelings of concern or worry, from escalating into more severe distress.
"The way Samaritans volunteers listen to people and support them through times of emotional crisis can be transferred across into every day conversations—for example, principles of listening with empathy and without judgement; paying close attention and showing you care and hearing what someone is really saying as opposed to offering advice or imposing solutions. It sounds like a simple act in the face of seemingly complex problems, but by listening to someone well, you can really make a difference to how they're feeling—whether that's just letting off steam, or supporting someone to get further help."