We spoke to a healthcare colleague about the pastoral care she received from Jez Brown, Lead Chaplain at the Devon Wellbeing Hub, and how it has made a positive difference to her wellbeing.
Why did you get in touch with the Hub and what made you reach out for help?
There had been a lot of staff turnover in the team and it was difficult to manage the workload. It felt like there was far too much to do work-wise and it was a stressful environment.
I knew things weren’t great when despite going on my summer holiday within the first half hour of being back at work my stress levels immediately increased.
Did you find it easy to book an appointment?
Yes, it was. I knew about the Hub because a colleague had got in touch previously and he suggested I get in touch too.
What did your initial appointment with a Colleague Wellbeing Practitioner involve?
They asked me a series of questions to understand the issues I was facing and what I thought could help. We looked at the different options together and they then recommended chaplaincy support.
What support have you received from Jez?
I’ve been talking to Jez for over six months now – we’ve met face-to-face a few times and we’ve had calls on MS Teams too. I know that if I need to contact him then he’s there. When I’ve said “I really need some help”, he’s always made the time.
I would talk to him about work and my personal life. There was an incident at work that I was really struggling with. After speaking to Jez, I realised the issues at work spanned into other things as well – it was like opening a dam. You convince yourself you’re ‘fine’ and then once you get talking it all comes out.
When I speak to Jez I feel listened to and that my feelings are validated. He is non-judgemental and offers support and understanding. He’s sensitive to the issues as well. I know I can say anything to him and he’ll keep it confidential. Whilst he’s a chaplain, our sessions weren’t about religion. He’s a kind, thoughtful, measured and balanced individual that you can trust.
Have you noticed any differences to your wellbeing since visiting the Hub?
My wellbeing is definitely better now. It’s been really helpful having somebody who’s totally outside of work, friends, family etc. who can offer a safe space to talk through things when you are feeling really quite rubbish. It’s great to have the opportunity to just pick through and unjumble your thoughts.
Would you recommend the Hub to others?
Any advice to others who may be struggling?
Go and find someone to chat with who is outside of your immediate circle (colleagues/friends/family) and can give you a fresh perspective and won’t judge you.
It’s important to articulate whatever’s going on and work your way through it, rather than letting it churn round in your head.
Jez said: “We all need a listening ear and somebody to be alongside us when we are going through tough and painful times. Our team of chaplains listen without judgement and can help with a range of life issues, including stress, loneliness and bereavement. We can offer a fresh, outside perspective and support is available for people of all faiths and none. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.”
Get in touch:
If you are interested in our chaplaincy support our Colleague Wellbeing Practitioners can discuss your needs and make a referral on your behalf. Get in touch by calling 0300 303 5455, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online referral form: https://www.devonwellbeinghub.nhs.uk/referral-form