Employee Spotlight: Matt Wood, Director of Communications & Marketing

January 29, 2019

Matt WoodLife is full of moments that shape you as an individual.

For me, coming home as a 15-year-old to find my mother dead at the end of the hallway was life-altering.

My mum (she was from New Zealand, so I always spell it that way) struggled with mental health issues for much of her life. She was the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, yet didn’t disclose that fact until she was in her 40s, as one didn’t talk about such things back then. She overdosed on a slew of medications she had hoarded over many months.

As a young man undergoing such trauma, it did things, chemically, to my brain’s development, and changed how I would react to trauma in the future. 

Unfortunately, I never sought any kind of treatment, and never really talked much about my mum.  I wish I could go back in time and tell that young kid to seek professional help immediately. Instead, I’ve been angry, resentful and pretty dismissive of not only my own grief, but others’ grief over the years as well. I simply don’t know how to handle it, so I minimize it and bury it.

Or at least that’s what I used to do.

Last year, I had another personal brush with mental health and it awoke in me all the same feelings: anger, fear, frustration, dismay. I must admit, I came very close to packing up my desk and simply walking out one morning. The stresses of work combined with the personal issues were simply too much to bear.

But this time, I actually chose to do something.

UNBC is committed to supporting our employees, offering access to confidential counselling, coaching and consultation services through our Employee & Family Assistance Program provided by Homewood Health.


How can I access support?

Call 1-800-663-1142 any time day or night, 24/7, 365 days a year.  If you are in crisis, immediate support is available. Please be assured that the program is completely confidential. Not a fit? Just call back and let Homewood know.  Visit http://www.homeweb.ca for interactive tools, health and wellness assessments, service locators, and a library of articles.