Meet the team—Jude West

Meet the team—Jude West

Over the coming months, myView will be featuring staff from across our student services. These are the people and teams who are here to give you support and advice during your time here. This week we spoke to Jude West, a wellbeing adviser with Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing. Jude supports students to stay well in every aspect of their lives at University.

Kia ora koutou,  

I’m Jude West and I’m a wellbeing adviser with Manawa Ora Student Wellbeing. I’m going to share a little bit about my background and what I do here at the University.  

Wellbeing adviser Jude West in her office near the Bubble in the Student Union building.

My journey in the world of wellbeing  

I am a New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) Registered Counsellor and studied solution-focused therapy at the University of Canterbury. After I graduated, I worked as a therapist helping people with issues like problem gambling and homelessness. I was also a counsellor for people in prison. Other employers I’ve had include the Health Promotion Agency, where my mahi focused on creating new strategies for Māori, Pasifika, and different European communities to facilitate social inclusion in different workplaces. I’ve always liked working in health promotion, and I love working with people to help find them the best outcomes in a challenging time.   

What I love about working with students at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington 

Working in a tertiary learning institution allows me to provide learning opportunities for students that are similar to those offered in the workforce. Manawa Ora employs students to work in our programmes, which are all student led. This helps us create opportunities and services that are current and relevant. We like to have students helping other students! They might be 18 when they start working with us and some of them go right through to complete their PhD.  It’s great to see students blossom and to support them to expand their career into a helping profession. It helps to develop their people skills.    

Watch this video about Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing made and presented by students and wellbeing leaders.

My advice for you as students when it comes to looking after your wellbeing 

Wellbeing is just as important as your physical and mental health. It’s good to remember that there are tools and strategies that will help you feel good about yourself and positive about what you’re doing. These tools are available to you every day and you can use them whenever you need to. That’s what we’re here for – to support people to stay well. We’re preventative—meaning we want to stop people running into issues in the first place. If people are struggling, then we can help their recovery by working with them on their mental and physical health.  

If you’d like to engage with Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing, we have face to face events during orientation, social media channels and a website which student can engage with. There’s lots of information that students can use as an ‘any time anywhere’ resource. I recommend you save this in your favorites and use it when you need it!  

Jude with graduate Huzy, who was a volunteer with the wellbeing team while she studied for her degree.

And finally… An awesome moment at work I’d like to share 

Recently I had what I like to call a ‘mum’ moment. Last year, an international student called Huzy worked with us in the Bubble. On Tuesday last week she stopped in to say hello before heading to town to walk in the graduation parade. It was a lovely moment to see her come into the Bubble in her graduation gown. Check out the photo of us below. Other great moments for me are when I get to be a referee for a student applying for a job. Helping our students really shine and stand out to an employer is really great, and I love being able to talk about all the good things they did and hopefully help them into a first job out of uni.   

Jude West is a Wellbeing adviser with Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing. Check out this and all of the University’s student services on our website.

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