Jules joined RFQ as a new grad in 2019, armed with a degree in criminology and a yearning to make a difference. Securing a role in the newly-formed Hospital to Home (H2H) team, Jules enjoyed helping shape this ground-breaking program while immersing herself in the world of mental health.
“Not only was I brand new to the mental health sector, but I was also one of the first staff members at H2H Bayside. It’s been great to be part of H2H’s evolution and growth over the past four years, while seeing first-hand the positive impact it has had on the people we work with.”
“This role has been an eye-opener, in the very best way. You quickly realise that everyone struggles with their mental health at some stage in their life. Contrary to how you might see them depicted on movies or in the media, people with mental illness aren’t ‘scary’ people; they’re just people.”
Caring for older members of her family as she grew up, Jules always felt a strong pull to work in a people-centred industry. While on the hunt for her first professional job after uni, her friend suggested mental health as option – and it turned out to be a winning idea.
“I wasn’t sure what my ‘dream job’ would be, but I knew it would involve helping people in some way. In our role, we are in a privileged position where people tell us things they wouldn’t tell just anybody on the street. They trust us with their stories.”
“I’ll always remember an exercise our team did during a training session, where everyone wrote a secret we’ve never told anyone on a piece of paper. We were then asked to hand it to the person next to us. That person held our secret in their hands and then passed it back to us. It brought up some feelings of vulnerability, which are a helpful reminder to carry forwards in the work that I do.”
Now an Advanced Recovery Support Worker, Jules says the support and expertise her team have provided her with over the years have made her a better worker and a better person.
“While this job can be intense at times, you never feel like you are alone; you don’t need to carry all the responsibilities on your own. I remember the first time I had to call an ambulance for someone and I thought, ‘I’ve never had to do this before’. There are so many people in the team with years of experience who will always listen and provide advice and support.”
“By working at RFQ, I do feel that I’ve grown as a person in my understanding that life is complex; it has shades of grey. I don’t believe someone is a bad person because they’ve made a particular choice. There are things in your life that might lead you down a certain path. Everyone deserves support and respect.”
Jules finds a sense of fulfillment in supporting people to reach their goals.
“When you help people figure out what they want out of life and they begin taking steps to get there, it’s like, ‘YES!’ I find it so rewarding to see people focusing on the everyday wins and planting seeds that might grow into something great in the future.”
With countless memories of clients kicking goals over the years, Jules says the best part of her job is seeing people grow in confidence.
“When things are overwhelming, it can be hard for anyone to recognise how well they’re doing and how far they’ve come. People are so much more resilient than they think – sometimes they just need a little reminder of that. It’s a great moment when people say, ‘That’s true, I am doing OK, I am moving forwards’, and you see them start to feel proud of themselves.”