The news of Courtney Herron’s death in Melbourne back in 2019 shook everyone to the core.
Only 25, Courtney’s life was taken away in just one night. The first shock was her brutal death – but the waves of shock about her being homeless, suffering with mental illness and struggling with drug addiction are only too familiar. She could well have been one of the young people that seek help through Triple Care Farm’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.
Young people with mental health conditions are highly vulnerable – they often become disconnected from family and friends and end up homeless. Many are fleeing domestic violence and already frightened and misunderstood, they feel they have nowhere to go. If they’re lucky they can sleep on other people’s couches, or in youth shelters but sadly some end up in cars or using rough sleeping arrangements in parks, beaches or streets.
Without the safety of stable accommodation, these young people are at risk of violent crime. But they are also at risk of suicide. Life can feel overwhelming and as they are still evolving into adulthood, they may not have the necessary resilience and life skills to cope. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is often a result of searching for a method to cope with their situation. A way to self-medicate and numb the pain.
Since the launch in 2017 of David Martin Place withdrawal facility at Triple Care Farm, over 70 per cent of the young people (aged 16 to 24) attending have, in the recent period prior to getting help, attempted to take their own life. The majority have been homeless. Being unwell and without an address makes it almost impossible to get employment.
Keeping young people safe
At Sir David Martin Foundation we’re proud to enable best practice models of care for young people in crisis through rehabilitation. Only then can they build a pathway for their future. Having a secure home for now and the future is vital to keeping young people safe and healthy.
For more information on homelessness and how to seek help visit our major partner, Mission Australia.
Sir David Martin Foundation is the major philanthropic partner of Mission Australia and enables best practice care for young people with drug and alcohol addictions. The Family Foundation is the major funder of Triple Care Farm and its lifesaving programs.
Helen Connealy, General Manager, Sir David Martin Foundation