Dream job all about building rapport

  • AL WILLIAMS – High Country Herald
    25/08/2010
  • Caring: Team leader at Timaru Mental Health Support Trust, Victoria House, Vicky Cunningham.

    In the Back Room this week Al Williams talks to Vicky Cunningham, team leader at Victoria House’s Timaru Mental Health Support Trust, about her role in helping others achieve their goals.

    Pareora mother of five Vicky Cunningham is frank about her journey into mental health services.
    It was personal experience that inspired her to “support and walk beside others to get them contributing into society”.

    “I went to Victoria House and thought, I’m not like those people.

    “But who am I to judge?”

    The support she received led her to study and a social services certificate and a diploma in mental health.

    “I had to study fulltime for two years.
    “It’s huge having to get into that study mode.”

    With the support of her husband and children, Mrs Cunningham found her dream job at the Timaru Mental Health Support Trust.

    “It’s all about learning for me.”

    Her responsibilities with the Timaru Mental Health Support Trust include facilitating activities, administration and providing support.

    “You’ve got build a rapport,” she said to explain her work in supporting others.

    The mission statement of Victoria House is “to enhance the wellness of people with mental illness, through helping them achieve goals in the world outside of illness and therapy models.”

    “People need to believe in themselves,” Mrs Cunningham said.

    Through a supportive environment the trust aims to provide structured activities, drop in services, support, planning and employment support to its clients.

    With a client base of around 80, teamwork was a key component of achieving positive outcomes, she said.
    “It’s a safe place to come.
    “People don’t feel like they are being judged here.
    “Sometimes they might just want to come in for company.”

    One of the service’s main objectives was listening to clients without judging, Mrs Cunningham said.

    “I think it’s awesome that they have this facility. We’re very lucky to have Victoria House.”

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