As a victim of domestic violence, Matt felt he had nowhere to go. After being referred to our services, Matt found the understanding and motivation he needed to move forward.
Speaking to Matt over the phone, you can hear the sheer amount of bravery in his voice, as he opens up about his personal life.
Wanting to raise awareness and advocate for men who may feel too ashamed to speak out, he wishes to share his journey.
After showing a tremendous amount of courage, Matt removed himself from his abusive relationship. He followed the advice of seeking safety at a domestic violence refuge in his area.
Thinking Matt had found a safe environment for himself; he was sadly turned away at the door as a result of his gender. Not having access to the one place he had hoped would provide him protection, Matt resorted to using alcohol to cope with his circumstance. After losing his license, Matt's mental health began to deteriorate, to the point where he was at risk to himself.
"I didn't eat, all I did was drink for three days because I was ashamed of what happened to me because you don't hear about it," explained Matt
It was when Matt was in hospital seeking support for his mental health, that he was referred to our team in Maitland, to help him find a new beginning.
Coming to his first appointment, Matt met with Job Coach, Jasmine. As a Job Coach, her role is to improve Matt's employability skills so that he can become job-ready. Naturally, Jasmine's charisma and compassion, was more than Matt could have ever hoped for.
Knowing his history, Jasmine patiently worked to build Matt's trust and confidence, allowing him to search within himself to find the right motivation.
"We were meant to look for work, and sometimes she would just sit there and listen, to get me through that bad stage.
"Just having Jasmine's support, telling me that I'm not a piece of rubbish, that there is a future, there is hope and that I have a lot of potential," said Matt.
Taking into consideration both the physical and mental trauma Matt had endured, Jasmine was also able to refer Matt to several mental health professionals and services, including a psychologist that would help him to create a clearer headspace.
"There were a few times where if it weren't for her [Jasmine] and the doctor that I had; I wouldn't be alive now.
"She didn't push me, but she didn't let me go backwards; I've come a long way," emphasized Matt.
Despite Jasmine not being a mental health professional, Matt continually credits her support as one of the driving forces to get him into a better headspace.
"As I got to know Jasmine more and spent more time with her as she went through resumes - just little things she said here and there, just started to lift me up to show that yeah, I can get somewhere! Eventually, she got me to the point where I was really excited to get a job."
Along his journey, Matt also worked with Maitland JobCoach Alayna, who used her employer connections to get Matt an interview at Pace Farms. Making a sizeable impression on the employer, Matt began work as an egg farmer - and he hasn't looked back since.
Starting in the egg carousel, Matt has now been promoted to working in the warehouse. With more responsibility and further opportunities to grow within the workplace, Matt is thriving in his new role – finding comfort and peace in having stability.
Looking back on Matt's mental health at the beginning of his journey and comparing that to his wellbeing now is astonishing!
"I have a purpose to get up every day; I go to work every day, I'm happy, I have a secure job, and I've got a future where I am.
"The worlds my oyster now, I can make my world whatever I want it to be because Jasmine got me from 'life isn't worth living', to where I am now," gushed Matt.
When we asked him what advice he had to offer others, he wishes for them to seek help when they need it.
"Go see PeoplePlus, there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, and there are people out there who can be there for you, that can be there to support you."
PeoplePlus can be of assistance to you if you have a disability, injury or health condition, and are searching for employment. We're ready to be with you, every step of the way.