Health coach appointments

Our Health Coach provides support to students so they can achieve their goals for improved mental wellbeing, lifestyle or behaviour change.

Under the Te Tumu Waiora (towards wellness) initiative, students enrolled with Student Health, Mauri Ora have access to the Health Coach services. These appointments are free and easy to access.

Q&A with Rebekah Ward-Johnston

Rebekah Ward-Johnston shares some insights into what it's like to be a health coach for Mauri Ora.

What is your role at Mauri Ora? I am the health coach.

What is a health coach? A health coach is someone who coaches people in the direction of better health. It may be through improving diet, moving more, or creating a balance between work/study/life. I work with the client to create a plan of small yet significant tweaks that sets them up for success.

What kinds of things have you helped with here at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington? I see a lot of sleep issues. Trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, trouble getting enough sleep. I've worked with a lot of people who want to eat better for weight loss and health. And, of course, helping people create a better balance with their hectic student life. People often think that if their life habits are out of whack their life needs a complete overhaul. However, in my experience as a health coach, people can make great changes with a small amount of effort put into one or two things.

What do you love about your job? I love working out what people need and helping them create a plan that they know will work. When they come back for their follow-up appointment and share the good that has resulted from a couple of small changes, that's magic. I feel extremely privileged when people share their story with me. People are amazing and capable of so much.

Can anyone book an appointment with you? I can see any student who is registered with Student Health.

How do you spend your down time? As a busy mum of four daughters, spare time is rather sparse. I also work in my own private practice, so I have to use my time very wisely. To maintain the space for me in my life, I keep a detailed diary. I diarise my eating, sleeping, exercise, dates with my husband and children. But the first thing to go into my diary is time for me to write, play squash, run, make things, and sit in cafes drinking pots of green tea.

Any tips for student life at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington? Veggies and sleep. Eat lots of veggies. Veggies are life! Full of delicious nutrients that help your body and brain function well. Throw them in with your two-minute noodles. Grate or chop them into your spag bol. Broccoli and cauliflower are fantastic in mac n cheese. You can get cheap fruit and vegetables here at the Kelburn campus on Wednesdays, or at the many farmers markets in the city. Sleep—everything is easier when you've had a good sleep. We're more productive, our thinking is clearer, and we feel happier. Prioritise your sleep.