“It’s OK not to be OK”
A WELL-BEING Strategy for
Cheadle Hulme United Reformed Church
A little stress can be a good thing, pushing one to new heights of performance, but too much, for too long can be injurious to your health and emotional well-being. Statistically mental health issues affect almost half of us at some stage in our lives.
This document confirms our recognition that there is a role to play for Cheadle Hulme URC in supporting Well-being for our church members, user groups and even the wider community. Our good Well-being initiatives will be delivered as part of our existing pastoral care structure and include a role of ‘Listener’.
Our aim is to provide pastoral wellbeing support to…
- promote activities within the church that can enhance Well-being
- sign post other organisations who offer wellbeing support.
- network with partners who can deliver wellbeing initiatives within the community
- encourage an environment where members and users feel they can talk about their Well-being if they wish to
- provide for a role of a Listener, within the pastoral team, publicised widely and able to point to professional help.
The elders with church meeting support will…
- actively promote wellbeing activities that deliver services around the 5 Ways of Well-being (illustrated below).
- develop a pastoral team including Listener(s) to support projects, policies and practices that support an individual’s wellbeing
- research and publish further contacts to escalate cases to available professional services
- seek to model ways of sustaining the wellbeing of the delivery team.
- promote well-being awareness both within the church membership, the user groups and the wider community.
A cornerstone of this policy is the concept of peer support; a system whereby named individuals within the church called Listeners can offer that confidential initial point of contact for anyone seeking a friendly ear. Listeners can be approached by anyone within the church community. They act in the role of a listener, a guide, a conduit for those who feel the need to talk about issues that may or may not be related, always remaining impartial and confidential. Listeners: Don Philips, Alison & Bernie Stevens 01625 877 180 [email protected]
Confidentiality & Escalation
There may be occasions where, for safety reasons, confidentiality should be extended to more senior or professional support, called escalation.
NB -All clients should be made aware of the potential need for Listeners to breach confidentially in certain circumstances, outlined above and below.
Where the Listener feels there is a risk to the speaker, or another person, an escalation process must be started, starting via the peer support system or Safeguarding Officer. If the risk is to the church as a whole, and not of an immediate nature, direct reference to the Ministry team, Pastoral Convenor or Moderator may be justified.
Where there is an immediate risk of harm to the speaker or any other this should be escalated externally, in accordance with Safeguarding and other policies, through social services or even through the existing 999 service.
The elders and the pastoral team will not provide…
- counselling / therapy
- critical management
- legal advice
- a Health and Welfare service
- unsolicited advice
The pastoral team with elders support will deliver the policy by…
- managing the listener(s) who will be at the sharp end
- manage confidentiality in appropriate ways and in accord with URC policies
- dovetail this policy with the Safeguarding and GDPR Policies
- seek further training and support from their partnership and or officers as needed
Be mindful of your own wellbeing and take the time to notice any changes that could indicate that you need to take on a little less. Reflecting on your role regularly can help you to identify whether you are taking on too much.
The church meeting and elders will review their effectiveness in promoting good wellbeing on a regular basis and review their wellbeing policy regularly.
Bernie Stevens 27/2/2023
With thanks to Mind and
Kinder Mountain Rescue Team
Appendix A: Training
Though essentially Listeners are ‘peers with ears’, it is hoped that some simple workshop type training will be provided in the future, essentially the opportunity to support and be supported by other listeners. Topics to include may be roles, the peer support system, the pastoral system, the safeguarding system, a buddy system, discussion of scenarios, make a Happy Box and ‘active listening’. First objective would be to generate a ‘pack’ of local information. Listeners: Don Philips, Alison & Bernie Stevens 01625 877 180 [email protected]
Appendix B: Contact with other Agencies:
Could refer within the URC first to pastoral leads, safeguarding leads, Ministers, Convenors, Moderator.
Information, and details of local mindfulness courses and therapists www.bemindful.co.uk
AGE UK: Charity for older people – ageuk.org.uk
0800 678 1602. 8am ~ 7pm, every day of the year.
Bereavement Advice Centre: Support for people who have been bereaved
0800 634 9494 bereavementadvice.org
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP): List of accredited therapists
0161 705 4304 babcp.com
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP): Practitioners in your area
01455 883 300 Itsgoodtotalk.org.uk
Citizens Advice: Confidential advice on a range of issues including finance
03444 111 444 (England) 03444 477 2020 (Wales) citizensadvice.org.uk
Christians Against Poverty: award winning debt counselling
Cruse Bereavement Care:
Bereavement charity offering online, telephone and face to face support
0844 477 9400 (National Helpline) [email protected] cruse.org.uk
Mind: The mental health charity – www.mind.org.uk
Samaritans: NEW! Self-Help App – download it today! Emotional support for anyone in distress
116 123 (24 hour helpline) email [email protected] samaritans.org
Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK Chris, PO Box 90 90, Stirling, FK8 2SA
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP): List of registered practitioners
020 7014 9955 Psychotherapy.org.uk
+ local contacts, listed by the Listener(s)
Appendix C: Samaritans: NEW! Self-Help App
Welcome to Samaritans Self-Help!
This app aims to help you learn safe, memorable techniques for coping with and preventing emotional distress. It can help you track your mood, identify your triggers from your mood log, and recommends you appropriate resources to try based on how you’re feeling at the time. It also contains a safety plan, to help you know how to stay safe in a crisis, as well as ideas for activities that can help you feel better when you’re not using the app.
We can’t see anything you write in the app. Anything you say here is only visible to you.
We’ll be adding new content on a regular basis, so keep an eye out for new techniques.
We hope you find the app helpful and we’d love to know what you think of it. Feel free to leave feedback via the sidebar. This will help us improve it for you and others. Feedback isn’t monitored by volunteers – if you need to talk to someone please call 116 123 for free, or visit our website to find other ways to get in touch.
— The Samaritans Self-Help Team