A childhood trauma was eating away at mother-of-ten Nioka Chatfield who reached out to support networks, only to find she didn’t meet their criteria.
Mrs Chatfield didn’t have a drug problem and she didn’t have an alcohol problem but she needed help.
“It was so hard for me to find a service that I fitted the criteria for,” she said.
“I tried everywhere.
"And even thought they were wonderful and I've become friends with a lot of them, I just didn’t fit the criteria."
So Mrs Chatfield reached out to the Heal For Life Foundation.
She attended a Heal for Life residential healing week three years ago which she said saved her life.
“ I was at breaking point,” Mrs Chatfield said.
“The Heal for Life program gave me answers about why I was going through certain things and why life was a constant battle.
“It was beautiful the moment when I realised I was normal.”
Heal for life has now appointed Mrs Chatfield the aboriginal coordinator for the New England area.
Next week, they are holding a training workshop for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and Heal for Life founder Liz Mullinar will attend.
Ms Mullinar said the training would help teachers, social workers, health professionals and community members learn to better understand the people they were working with enabling them to work more effectively with them.
“Many young people are bullying or acting up for a reason, because of an underlying trauma they have experienced,” Ms Mullinar said.
“We aim to make working with young people more enjoyable."
Mrs Chatfield said the workshop was a stepping stone to her ultimate goal of bringing a Heal For Life centre to Armidale.
“I would like to bring it here so my mob can heal,” she said.
It will be held at Minimibah School on August 18 and 19 from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
For more information, you can contact Heal for Life on 1300 760 580
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.