When Logistics Coordinator Thomas Momoisea hit rock bottom he knew he needed to reach out
“My partner's Dad and my cousin both died by suicide and I was going through a really
rough patch. I wasn’t coping at home or at work so I told my boss I wasn’t handling
stuff and that I needed to talk to someone.”
His boss was “awesome” and told Thomas to take all the time he needed and supported him
to get free counselling.
“Having somebody to talk to really helped. Depression is hard because you don’t know when
you’re in the middle of it.”
At the time Thomas was working really long hours with early starts, often six days a
“My boss assured me I could take time out, shorten my hours and that they’d be work there
for me when I was ready – that took a lot of pressure off and allowed me to focus on
As well as going on anti-depressants Thomas says being active gave his mood a huge boost.
“I needed to beat up a bag and sweat things out at the gym. Even now I notice I’m
grumpier if I miss too many gym sessions.”
Thomas, who has also managed other people in the workplace says too often people keep it
inside and tell you after having to take time off.
“I used to pull people up if I noticed them slacking off, but my experience has taught me
that showing you care and asking ‘what’s up’ can make a massive difference.
In Pacific Island culture and with men, they tend to hold things in and mental illness is
often seen as a demon, so there’s a huge amount of stigma that needs to be overcome from
a cultural perspective.”
Thomas has used his experience to champion mental health as part of the health and safety
committee in his workplace.
“You can see if someone has had an injury on a forkhoist, but it’s much harder to tell if
someone is experiencing a mental health problem. I’m really working towards making it a
priority and setting an example for others.”
Thomas' story was originally featured in our Take the Load Off campaign.
Watch his story via our Like Minds, Like Mine YouTube