I returned to my hometown of Invercargill a few years ago and I’ve lived through some difficult times ever since.
My partner was addicted to methamphetamine. I had no idea how bad it was until he started spending all of our Christmas present money, and eventually we lost our house and our jobs. Our child was placed into Oranga Tamariki care and I felt so lost.
Both of us were in a lot of trouble. Throughout all of this, I was referred to Nga Kete for drug and alcohol counselling. I thought I didn’t need it because I’ve never had a problem with substances, but it was actually very beneficial.
The counsellor and I spoke about what it was like living with someone who was addicted to drugs, and how that affected me and my life. The counsellor explained ways of dealing with everything, and I found those tools very helpful. It really helped me to get through, and to keep going.
I was then referred to Whanau Ora. I couldn’t understand in the beginning how the navigator could help me, but she actually helped a lot.
The navigator supported me to get another job and has been a massive help in dealing with Family Group Conferences.
She helped my partner and I to move forward with the FGC and supplied us with all of the information we required around it. She gave me the confidence to speak up and now, because of that, we have weekly access with our son and we can attend his sports games.
It meant the absolute world to me. If it wasn’t for the navigator, I would never have gotten through it.
If I was feeling down, she would always pick me back up and I would leave Nga Kete feeling lifted, knowing I had someone in my corner.
Things are getting better now. My partner has been drug-free for three years and we’ve all seen a big change in him.
I would recommend the Whanau Ora service to anyone who is having difficulty in life. It certainly helped to turn my life around!