Dr Ruth Newman, a Clinical Studies Research Officer at Devon Partnership NHS Trust, talks about the pastoral care she received from Jez Brown, Lead Chaplain at the Devon Wellbeing Hub.
Why did you contact the Devon Wellbeing Hub? What made you reach out for help?
I got in touch with the Hub because I’ve got a family problem that is causing me a lot of distress.
After an appointment with a Colleague Wellbeing Practitioner, I was offered four different routes of support. I opted for both NHS Practitioner Health and chaplaincy support through Jez.
I’ve used both these resources side-by-side as they offer different things. With Jez it isn’t ‘treatment’ as such, instead it focuses more on support and advice, as well as providing a good space to talk openly.
I’ve been speaking to Jez since July 2022 and we’re still in touch now.
What do your appointments with the chaplaincy service involve?
I explain how things have been for me and talk about the current situation I’m in. He listens and offers advice if I want it. It’s so easy to open up to him. He’s very accessible and helpful.
We also have a shared set of values. I’m a Christian, so we talk about that because that’s helpful to me and adds another dimension. However the support is for everyone, regardless of your beliefs.
How have you felt after your appointments?
That I’m not on my own. Jez reassured me that other people have been through similar things and there’s a way through it. There’s hope.
It’s a great privilege to have that space. I really value it. I know another one of my colleagues has found it the same. I would and have recommend the Hub to others.
Have you been able to make changes to improve your wellbeing since visiting the Hub?
I have not made huge changes to my life in the practical sense, but I’ve been able to modify my thinking. I don’t go down quite the same rabbit holes.
It’s been another structure of support for me. I’m lucky as I’ve got plenty of support in my life, in lots of areas, but I found Jez and the link to work very helpful. It was also a benefit that he was an external person.
What advice would you give to people who may be struggling?
To take the support on offer. Whatever your views, wherever your coming from, it’s very helpful. I found it very non-judgemental and supportive.
Jez said: “Our team of Chaplains listen without judgement, with the aim of helping to lighten the load that you’re carrying. We provide a listening ear and emotional support to all colleagues, regardless of your beliefs. We offer a safe space to confide in outside of your family, friendship and workplace circles and aren’t limited to a set number of meetings, so can work with you for as little or as long as you need.”
Get in touch:
If you work in healthcare, social care or the police in Devon and are interested in our chaplaincy support, the Hub’s Colleague Wellbeing Practitioners can discuss your needs and make a referral on your behalf. Please get in touch by calling 0300 303 5455, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the simple referral form on the Devon Wellbeing Hub website.