Gareth Woods - Mental Health Support Worker
Why did you decide to change careers?
I used to be one of the managers for the Koru Lounge at Air New Zealand, but unfortunately when COVID-19 hit I was made redundant.
After that I did a short stint working in hospitality before I decided it was time to start a journey to a more rewarding and fulfilling career, and I’ve never looked back since.
What was your experience like at WelTec?
It was the best experience I’ve ever had in a learning environment. I never considered myself a ‘good learner’ and had awful experiences at school, I even told myself at the age of fifteen I’d never set foot in a classroom again.
But WelTec completely changed my perception of what a teacher and studying is like. My tutors were supportive, charismatic and encouraging, and there was always someone on the other end of a phone when I needed help.
What is the purpose of your role as a mental health support worker?
I work with people who have an intellectual disability to overcome challenges and help them rediscover their purpose in life.
The easiest of tasks for us can be a big challenge for my clients, and it’s important they have somebody to support them in a safe and non-judgemental environment before they go back into the community.
What do you love most about your job?
I love seeing my clients grow and being part of their journey. I get to make a real difference to the lives of people who are disadvantaged in our society and have experienced a lot of hardship.
What would you say to someone considering studying health and wellbeing?
Go for it – you won’t regret it! The help is there and the people are friendly. You’ll feel like you’re on a journey to something really positive and worthwhile.
Study Health and Wellbeing at WelTec
Make a difference in your community by studying health and wellbeing. Choose from a range of programmes and gain the skills you need to work in a range of community and healthcare settings.
Find the right programme for you here.