MIND MATTERS: TAFE NSW graduate Charlise Morley is aiming for a career helping young people better understand their mental health.
A Finley teen has vowed to use her own high school experiences – and the skills learned at TAFE NSW – to forge a career helping other teens in their mental health battles.
Charlise Morley, 17, struggled within the confines of traditional schooling, leaving in year 11 to enrol in a Certificate IV in Mental Health at TAFE NSW, studying it via virtual classroom.
The National Mental Health Workforce Strategy 2021-2031 report found an acute mental health worker shortage in regional and remote communities, describing it as a “significant challenge” for the sector.
“I’ve always been passionate about mental health and my experience at high school showed me there is still a lot of stigma that exists around it,” Ms Morley said.
“I decided I wanted to divert my energy into working in mental health and being the counsellor for others I wish I had.”
Ms Morley said the more adult and collaborative environment at TAFE NSW unlocked her passion for learning.
“It was very hands on and discussion-based and I felt comfortable asking any questions at any time,” she said.
“The teacher was amazing, and I just learned and absorbed so much.”
Ms Morley returned to her former high school during work placement with the school counsellor, and used her newfound skills to help develop mental health resources for students.
She has now enrolled in a Diploma of Counselling through TAFE NSW, with plans to later study a Bachelor of Psychology and eventually specialise in the emerging field of psychedelic-assisted therapy.
“I’ve always had an interest in natural medicines and am fascinated by the fact there are plants and oils grown on our earth that can open people’s minds and help get them in balance,” Ms Morley said.
TAFE NSW mental health teacher Caroline Vella paid tribute to Ms Morley and said jobs for TAFE NSW mental health graduates were plentiful in regional areas.
“Charlise was a very genuine student with great integrity, and I’m confident she will forge a successful career,” Ms Vella said.
“There are so many job opportunities for our graduates in the regions and the mental health impacts of COVID-19 will mean even more help is required. TAFE NSW equips these students with the hands-on, practical skills and work experience to make a real difference in their communities.”
The Certificate IV in Mental Health, Diploma of Mental Health, Diploma of Counselling and Certificate IV in Peer Work are now open for enrolment at TAFE NSW.
For more information, call 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428.