After an exciting week of training with National AIDS Help Line in South Africa who supports thousands every month with the issue of HIV/AIDS we managed to get 6 of their counsellors all geared up for Chat Counselling using mobile phones. Although all of the participants were qualified counsellors we had to teach the difference in counselling approach via mobile phones. We will be sharing some of our thoughts over the next few weeks of what the necessary skills are to make the best of the mobile medium. Our experience with the Drug Advice Support (DAS) counselling service has taught us that Mobile phones as a medium the following is a few suggestions to consider:
- Mobile chat environment has its own culture and language
- Less is best, the counsellor have to use as little text to get the maximum message
- “Hi” is a conversation, for many just a simple "hi" is a conversation that makes them feel connected in some way.
- Communicate in characters not words. Many of the mobile chat users communicate using characters to make the most of the small screen and limited number of characters per screen
We are looking forward seeing the progress of the National AIDS Helpline as they make use of our technology to support thousands accross South Africa.
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