As a support worker you’ll be using your ability to relate with others, foster hope, support recovery and build resilience in people with mental distress and addiction issues. You’ll be working alongside other professionals like social workers, addiction counsellors, police and health practitioners to support a person's goals. Engaging with whānau and family is an important part of the job.
You don’t need formal qualifications at first. It’s more about being the right sort of person, and having the passion to learn and train on the job.
There are plenty of career opportunities and employers who will support your training to help you get qualified, and with an expectation to achieve a level 4 qualification (which also supports higher pay as a result of the mental health & addiction support worker pay equity settlement)
More information from Careerforce about qualifications in the mental health and addiction support sector.
Initially you’ll find yourself in roles like these:
More advanced roles include:
After leaving a high-pressure sales job, Alex discovered a new life as a mental health and addiction support worker. He’s now supporting Chris to lead an independent life.
Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.
Check out these sites to find the right job for you!