Photo Caption: Pamela (pictured with flowers) with the Tūmanako Oranga Wellness Centre team.
The Whanau Ora Navigator has supported me in developing a healthier relationship with my daughter and set us both on a happier path.
The Mahana Southern Maori Mental Health and Addiction Service, and Manawa Ora Service have supported me in withdrawing from alcohol after I’d spent two years trying to beat it on my own.
I was having a struggle in coping with my teenage daughter and her temper.
She has had some trauma in her life. She’s lost people she was close with and, at a very young age, she was diagnosed with three different types of anxiety and ADD. She has also recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
After she come off the ADD medication, she developed anger issues and would often lose control. Sometimes it would become physical and she would punch me and smash things in the house.
At her worst, she would go into blackout rage and not know what she was doing. Afterwards she would be exhausted and wouldn’t remember much about what had happened. She started skipping school, sneaking out and drinking alcohol.
I didn’t know where to turn but I found the Whanau Ora navigator through the school guidance counsellor who referred me to him, and I started coming to see him about seven months ago. When I first started coming I was in a dark place but he listened to me without judgement, which gave me the confidence I needed to support my daughter in turning things around.
The navigator pointed us in the right direction and put us in touch with ADL, who specialise in youth. Through this, my daughter was given the tools to be able to calm herself in situations where she feels like she may lose control. He also put us in touch with the local police officer. He has also helped me with creating a CV and would often send me job listings.
In the past seven months things have become much better. There’s more laughter and I actually have a nice relationship with my daughter now. That would never have happened if I hadn’t come to Whanau Ora.
I feel so much lighter! My daughter is now seeing the local community family worker. Things are so much better now.
When things were at their worst a few months ago I turned to drinking as a way to cope with my stress. I would drink far too much – sometimes it would be a 24-pack a night, or a cask of wine, or three bottles of cider. I knew it was getting excessive but I needed something to take the edge off and wind down.
The navigator referred me to the Mahana Southern Maori Mental Health and Addiction Service and I have recently started seeing the counsellor. I was also referred to Manawa Ora to support me in withdrawing from alcohol. Manawa Ora is either home-based, or a participant can stay on site for the duration of withdrawal (Tūmanako Oranga Wellness Centre).
I had spent almost two years trying to stop drinking but the withdrawals were always so bad I had to go back to it. I thought I was strong enough to beat it on my own, but I wasn’t.
Once I was on site and the withdrawal process started, I felt so much better. The entire staff were welcoming and made me feel comfortable and the nurse who supported me through it was amazing. She explained what was happening and why it was happening the entire way through and it made the whole process relaxed and much easier than I thought it would be.
The support has meant the absolute world to me, and enabled me to get my life back on track. Being there gave me the boost I needed to know I could keep going and succeed. I couldn’t have done it without them.
I would recommend Manawa Ora to anyone who is struggling in the way I was.