We caught up with Jenna from the Safespace team to find out more about her role, how they are working to improve mental health for people across Calderdale, and why Safespace is so important.
I love building relationships with service users over time and seeing the change that this connection makes for them. Some feel isolated and lonely when they first contact us, but this often reduces with regular contact with Safespace. It's always pleasing to see when, over time, they make use of other Healthy Minds groups or groups offered by other local services. It is fantastic when service users share how they are flourishing in parts of their life where they once struggled. In addition, it is always a privilege to hear their individual stories and feel that they have placed trust in us as Safespace workers. Sometimes I feel touched by a service user's personal experiences and I can share some of my own similar lived experiences with them in return.
At times, shifts can be more challenging, especially where service users are at risk of harming themselves, or are experiencing strong suicidal ideation. It's always sad to hear when a service user is experiencing a particularly tough time. Often, circumstances are out of their control and that is difficult to hear and work with, especially when we all have a will to help. Retaining hope that things can change for the positive is really important - for both us as workers and our service users.
Overall, working for Safespace provides lots of opportunities for personal growth and continuing professional development, particularly through team meetings and informal conversations with co-workers, managers and of course, through interactions with service users. I thoroughly enjoy my role and regularly request extra shifts where I can because I enjoy it so much! I hope that Safespace continues to grow to support many more individuals living across the Calderdale region. The service intends to evolve to meet service user needs and this involves Safespace being in-situ within other services too (such as the job centre). Safespace provides a unique service which puts dedication towards the best outcomes for service users at the heart of all it does."