There was finally someone who would stand beside me.

A bearded man in a beanie looks out the window solemnly

Bennett* is one of those Kiwi blokes who loves outdoor adventures and challenging himself. It turns out that the biggest challenge of his life was not to be found in the wilderness, but within himself.

“I felt that my entire universe was imploding and that everything I’d committed to seemed to be slipping out of my fingers. I knew I needed help and I tried to find it. It felt like I’d tried everywhere and everywhere I turned was a dead end. I was at the point of thinking there was no one who could help.”

It wasn’t until he got in touch with Aviva that Bennett got the help he needed. He was connected with Aviva’s ReachOut Service which supports people who have used or are at risk of using violence.

“My first experience was a phone call. Out of everywhere I contacted, Aviva was the only one that responded genuinely, with respect and honesty. I felt like someone was really there. Everything felt like chaos but it felt like someone was finally there.”

Bennett says Aviva has helped him immensely and enabled him reestablish his foundations.

“The very foundations of who I was felt obliterated. I had become almost completely disconnected with myself, which was scary because staying connected with myself had been my way of dealing with all the challenges in my life.” 

Bennett says its hard to put into words his connection with Nicky his Aviva kaimahi or support worker.

“When Nicky from Aviva called me back he was honest and respectful and gave me an assurance that he would find a way to be there and connect with me. He helped me to realise that I wasn’t broken but I did have some cracks that needed to be accepted and addressed.” 

“I’ll always have a deep sense of gratitude and respect for Nicky’s time and everything about him, his aura and mana, it’s all been such a blessing.” 

Bennett says his journey has not been easy one but is unquestionably worthwhile.    

“I can be at peace with the things I’ve been through. I better understand healthy and unhealthy boundaries. I’m back. My children have me back. It sounds simple but it wasn’t.”

Although Bennett didn’t know of Aviva before working with them, he is now a huge advocate of their services and approach. 

“Aviva have people with the skills, knowledge and most importantly the commitment to be there with you and to work through anything you need to work through.”

He’s adamant that people can always achieve more than they think they can and says that even the blokiest of blokes may need to reach out at some point and get help.

“Just reach out. No matter how isolated and helpless everything may seem, there is someone who will stand beside you. To me that’s what Aviva represents.” 

While Bennett acknowledges there will always be new challenges, he credits Aviva with helping him reclaim the strength and confidence to deal with whatever the future brings.

“I have my physical and mental health back. I am enjoying spending time with my kids, I’m back into triathlons and I’m excited about two big events this year. Things are more manageable. I can apply myself to things with focus. The future is bright.”