Do you SEE me? reflections and poetry book gives voice to patient challenges
11 Aug 2021
Do you SEE me? was written by St John of God Burwood Hospital Pastoral Services Coordinator Jonathan Browning, who has worked alongside mental health patients at St John of God Burwood Hospital for six years.
Jonathan said the book was a reflection on pastoral ministry and mental health care that brings together St John of God Health Care’s healing mission of Jesus while giving voice to some of the many challenges that patients face.
“In a mental health context, pastoral conversations navigate fear and uncertainty, shame, loneliness, veiled hopes, wearying losses and more often than not, a pain that is more of an inner turmoil that is quite difficult to describe,” he said.
“The book outlines a narrative approach to listening to the stories and experiences that our patients struggle with, identifying some of the roadblocks to healing and presents a way forward for creating safe spaces to begin the journey of healing and recovery.
“It is my hope that this will be a useful resource as we endeavour to respond well to the myriad challenges and opportunities that people with mental health struggles face.”
The book has received praise from patients, fellow caregivers and pastoral care practitioners.
Jonathan has dedicated the book to the many men and women he has had the privilege of meeting at St John of God Burwood Hospital as he walked alongside them during their admissions to the hospital and listening to their stories of struggle, confusion and loss.
“I hold each of them in the highest regard as I have witnessed their courage, vulnerability and the strength they continue to show in the face of what has been an extraordinarily difficult time in their lives,” he said.
“I also get to work alongside a remarkable team of caregivers who are deeply committed to patients’ recovery and care and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to them as well.”
The full Do you SEE me? book is available from Jonathan on (02) 9715 9268 or email Jonathan.Browning@sjog.org.au
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