St John Ambulance Homeless Service at Seaview

Posted by Sue Burgess · 1 min read

Time to talk?

You may already know that SJAHS (St John Ambulance Homeless Service) clinics at Seaview provide health advice, wound care and foot care. Did you know we’re also here to listen?

Although none of the team of nurses and volunteers are fully trained counsellors, a lot of us have had some counselling training and/or mental health experience. All of us have had basic training in listening skills.

Being listened to may not pay the bills or put a roof over your head, but it can make you feel valued and accepted, and help you find purpose for your life.

Having time to talk and be properly heard may significantly reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help you to think through issues and dilemmas going on in your life and make clear choices for yourself, without being told or advised what to do.

Having time to express your own thoughts and feelings, to weigh up the pros and cons of changes you’re trying to make, can help you find the motivation and strength to make those changes – to take control of your own life.

Being listened to by someone with understanding and empathy may not only relieve anxiety and mental distress, but may also improve physical health problems.

We aim to listen, to give clients time to talk, but sometimes clinics are very busy and we have to rush you out, to get the next person in. We apologise for that.

To get round this problem, we are now offering ‘booked slots’ of time, which will normally be at 2pm at the end of our clinics. This will be ½ hour or so, when you can get things off your chest and talk things through with two of our team who have some counselling and/or mental health experience. If you’re interested in this, please ask one of us in the purple St John Ambulance polo shirts.

It’s good to talk!

Roger Nuttall, Nurse Co-ordinator, St John Ambulance Homeless Service