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Everyone makes mistakes, and conversations can sometimes not go as planned. The pressure associated with conversations about risk on both of us can increase the likelihood of things going wrong. When this happens, a genuine apology shows us that you are taking accountability and helps to build trust. The tips, directly from young people, will hopefully help you have an honest and safe conversation with young people about risk.

Allow space for us to express what we are feeling, remain open minded, be observant of indicators, trust what we are saying and take it seriously. This is not only validating but can stop things from escalating. Also, remember to treat psychological needs as equally important as physical injuries. You can read more about this, often referred to as parity of esteem, here Parity of Esteem – NHS England.

Nadia’s experience sheds light on how the indicators (what to look out for) might appear in a real-life situation and reminds us that timely intervention keeps young people in crisis safer. Remember, this is our lived experience for you to integrate into what you have learned in your clinical risk training.

Approaching risk questions with care, empathy and respect can help turn a potentially tricky conversation into a meaningful experience for both of us.