Jordon is a dedicated father of three sons and a whānau member at Āwhina Whānau Services.

My son was suicidal, he was reluctant to talk about things, probably because the issues ran deep for him. Sometimes my son would flip over something little. He would go into the garage and throw things around, yelling and cursing. Triggers happened at work and at home and he’d get into trouble: alcohol, drunk driving, getting caught by the cops which almost landed him in jail for five years, petty crime like stealing from malls.

My experiences of other services is that they don’t really listen, they don’t seem to understand and that doesn’t really work for me.

It’s completely different when I came to AWS. I’ve told other services the truth but they seemed to do nothing about it. I put it all on the line when I went to AWS; the results have been amazing. I was observing the AWS counsellors and their answers, the way they worked with me and my son and if they didn’t hit the mark, I was gone. But they actually totally understood the situation.

Two weeks ago, I went through a bad patch and drove up to Te Mata Peak and considered driving off. And then a picture of the AWS counsellor came to my mind, and I felt him saying “Be strong bro, we are going to help you get through, we are going to take care of you; you are going to be alright.” And I decided that when I see them on Tuesday for counselling I was going to tell them the whole truth and nothing but the truth – I would not hold back, I’d tell them that I’d had enough; that I’d hit rock bottom and that it was D-Day for all of us. They realised that the issues were really bad, that they needed to spend more time with us to help us get though the crisis. They wanted me to know that they were there for me, that they were there for us as a family. I was amazed. My boys were amazed. I felt loved, cared for, understood. It was a crux moment and they picked that up. They were committed to help, they have a real heart to help people. We didn’t need someone who had the right words, we needed someone who really cared. I totally know that they have got our backs, they are there for us, they will go over and above to make sure that they help us and get us through.

I’m not looking too far ahead at the moment. I’m just looking at getting though, we’ll see how we go. I’m trying to get that connection with my boys back again; that they can trust me, that we are ok.

We all have to see the truth because that is what will set us free. Get help now. This is what we are focused on doing, we are all happy with that.


Gina (pseudonym) and her daughter attend counselling at Āwhina Whānau Services.

My daughter was getting extremely bullied at school and I was very concerned for her. The counselling she is now getting at AWS is very helpful, it’s the whole feeling around how they approach people; they made me feel comfortable, safe, and keen to attend. My daughter is a lot happier now. She does things that she never wanted to do like go out – one of things she feared was going out and meeting up with friends.

My daughter tells me she looks forward to going to counselling. The goals that she helped set for herself, she is now motivated to accomplish them. She can see within herself the ability to achieve her goals and accomplishing them; it’s great. She’s getting the confidence to go out and do things for herself. Having the confidence to go out and do what she wants to do by herself, not being so dependent on someone else.

If my friend said that their daughter was getting bullied, I would share what worked for me, I’d suggest Āwhina Whānau counselling. I’d share about how my daughter was affected by the bullying and the importance of being there for her; looking at the child’s well-being and waiting until the child is ready to step out and ask for help. You have to have your child on board, they need to be ready.

Initially when I started looking for help for my daughter, I went to one service and all they did was refer me to someone else. They had a few people ask questions while I sat in the room, they asked some more questions, and then they went away and came back. Then they gave me their thoughts and recommendations about what I should do next. “Oh, I will refer you to this person to do this, and I’ll refer you to that person to do that, and there’s this person to do that and there’s this person to do this.” It was so overbearing! That’s just too many people to deal with. At least at AWS I deal with one person, and one person only. Which is good because then they get to know about me and my family, they know what my child wants, they know about my child, and they help me look for services that will help my child accomplish her goals. So that comes back to that mana-treating again. Everyone has to live.


Incredibly helpful at a time when I felt helpless and confused.

Excellent service, respectful and supportive. I feel that having counselling fitted our circumstances well. [Our counsellor] was able to share experience and knowledge on how thought processes happen to me, and connect and communicate a lot easier with my partner.

Having these sessions at Āwhina has been really good for me. Even though I didn't really feel like doing it at the start, I realised how important it is for me and my well-being. Awesome to get the help when I needed it the most, and offload a lot of the negative stuff that was bringing me down."