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In this Impact Spring 2021 edition:

Less judgement and more understanding

As part of September’s Youth Recovery Month, we are delighted to launch an important new awareness campaign to help reduce stigma surrounding youth drug and alcohol addiction. The “Don’t Judge Me” digital campaign challenges society’s ideas about youth addiction, highlighting the uncomfortable realities behind many young people’s problematic drug and alcohol use, including homelessness, mental illness, family breakdown, abuse and trauma.

“This campaign gives our Foundation a new platform to represent a youth voice and create a safe place to acknowledge, explore and discuss the complex circumstances that can lead to youth addiction,” said General Manager, Helen Connealy.

The World Health Organization ranks illegal drug dependence as the most stigmatised health condition globally, with alcohol dependence listed at number four.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, publicly funded Alcohol and Other Drug treatment services provided treatment to 139,295 Australians in 2019-20. Of these, 37.5% were under the age of 30. In reality, we know there are many more young people struggling with alcohol and drug use who are not actively receiving help, bringing high levels of stress and anguish to both individuals and their families.

“Misunderstanding often leads to stigma and judgement towards youth struggling with harmful alcohol and drug use.”

“The resulting shame can prevent many young people and their families from talking about the problem openly and seeking the medical and emotional support they need.

“There’s a compelling argument that instead of shaming young people who struggle with drug and alcohol use, we should try to approach them with compassion, support and better access to support and holistic youth-specific treatment programs, such as Triple Care Farm.”

The social impact of treatment means more families are reconnected; young lives have purpose and a chance to connect with education and employment. Treatment also brings relief for the health and justice sector.

“This is a very complex issue and we are not excusing harmful behaviour that can sometimes accompany excessive drug and alcohol use. Rather we are encouraging our community to discuss the underlying reasons why so many young people suffer and turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with issues in their lives.

“It is our hope that our Don’t Judge Me campaign will encourage a broader community discussion about youth wellbeing and addiction and ultimately encourage more young people to access support and treatment earlier.”

The campaign materials were created by leading creative agency The Zoo Republic and we thank them for their generous contribution.

The campaign is live during September 2021 across our social media channels. View the Don’t Judge Me campaign here

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Join the conversation - Register for online "Touchy Subjects" panel event

In support of this campaign we will be holding a special virtual panel event, on 23 September 2021, 5pm – 6pm. This event is free to attend and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the complex issues surrounding youth addiction, mental health & wellbeing.
The event topic is “Touchy Subjects: Does judgement limit young people’s potential?”, moderated by journalist and author, Jacinta Tynan.

Our expert panel will include Dr Suzie Hudson (Clinical Director, Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies), Professor Dan Lubman (Executive Clinical Director, Turning Point and Professor of Addiction Studies and Services, Monash University), Lucy Stronach (2021 Australian Youth Rep to the UN), Steve Bastian (Indigenous Youth Mentor and TAFE NSW Gilli Award winner) and Youth Ambassador & Triple Care Farm graduate, Elli Reinhard.

We hope you will join us! Register now here

Want to catch up on last year’s Youth Recovery Month panel online event? Watch the video here

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DBT treatment yields positive results

A new study examining the effectiveness of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) for young people in residential rehabilitation programs has shown positive results.

In 2017, the University of Wollongong (Project Air) in partnership with Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm commenced a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of DBT, which is a crucial part of the residential rehabilitation program. Read more: What is DBT?

The study compared two cohorts from Triple Care Farm’s 12-week residential rehabilitation facility over a 10 year period: Cohort A (2008–2009) and Cohort B (2018–2020).

The resulting research paper Now and then: a ten-year comparison of young people in residential substance use disorder treatment receiving group dialectical behaviour therapy was published recently in the prestigious BMC Psychiatry Journal.

The study highlights that young people are presenting for treatment with a higher acuity of psychiatric symptoms (when compared to the comparison group) and demonstrated that DBT and residential care for young people yields positive effects.

The outcomes also continue to demonstrate that quality improvement for psychological treatments and early intervention approaches are important.

Well done to the Triple Care Farm and Project Air team on having this important paper published.

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From our General Manager, Helen Connealy

As spring commences we stay hopeful for a better future for young Australians, but acknowledge these are challenging times.

The good news is that Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm continues to operate during these latest lockdown restrictions, helping young people in desperate need. Like the last lockdown, the staff are able to provide appropriate care and be COVID-19 compliant.

There are less young people to allow for social distancing and staff must wear appropriate PPE for intake. All new students are tested before they arrive and then quarantined in David Martin Place until a negative result arrives.

Family visits, weekend breaks and sports and recreation programs are on hold. The hardest change this time around is that young people must wear masks at all times. A challenge but not the worst one facing our brave young people as they work hard to get well and healthy again.

Luckily Triple Care Farm has open spaces, beautiful views and caring staff to help them along.

We thank all our donors for your financial support of our Foundation and Triple Care Farm. We all really appreciate it.
Stay safe,

Helen Connealy

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A passion for providing hope & opportunity

Impact Spring 2021

We’re delighted to introduce you to Helen Fuller, the Program Manager at Triple Care Farm’s Residential Rehabilitation program. Helen arrived at Triple Care Farm back in February 2021 and recently we had a chance to chat with her and ask a few questions.

You are the new Program Manager at the Residential Rehabilitation program – what drew you to the role?

My interest in the role came by accident. I was fortunate to have employment and in my spare time, I supported young people in searching and applying for jobs. That’s how I saw the position alert came through via Mission Australia. I immediately felt propelled to apply – an external force factor!

The role and Triple Care Farm’s values were in alignment with my own as I honestly believe in connecting and supporting people to live a life of their choice through trust, respect, and compassion.

I have worked with many vulnerable people and communities and know that individuals can make a difference to a person’s life. I believe in all people and my passion of providing hope and opportunity through safety and learning was in alignment with the Residential Rehabilitation Program Manager role and I wanted to be part of the team to continue the great foundation that has been built by our previous facilitators in giving our young people an opportunity to live a life of their choice – hence applied and was very honoured to be offered the role.

What is it like working with young people?
My main observation through working with young people in paid and voluntary work is that our external environment is becoming more complex for them to navigate and there are increased media platforms that target the young in inappropriate ways that can impact on their hopes and aspirations. I have become aware that our young people are more vocal on their needs and expectations, which I consider is a great leap forward from my generation and want to foster and support this advocacy and empower our young people to speak up through the correct channels.

What do you think is the most challenging thing for the young people when they arrive at the farm?
While each young person has their own challenges, I consider one of the most challenging aspects for our young people is arriving to a place of the unknown. We all like some control and while our young people have gone through an assessment (mostly via phone) and have some knowledge they are still in an unknown. We provide immense support on arrival, but they are still coming to an unknown environment, amongst people they do not know while living in a communal setting – many firsts, plus walking through their journey of rehabilitation. While it is a challenge – being here certainly demonstrates their strength, courage and commitment to themselves, which inspires me every day to do what I do.

Do you find you get attached to the young people, especially as they can be in the program for up to 3 months?
I am a small chapter of their lives, and they are a big chapter of mine. Naturally, I do get connected as we are all people. But I can let go as I know that they have completed another step forward in their story.

What inspires you?
Belief in all people and my values of ensuring everyone is served and supported for their value and worth.

What’s the most curious/funny thing a young person has asked you at Triple Care Farm?
To date my most memorable was “for an old lady, you know a lot about how our Aboriginal people can help us in fire management”. I do not consider myself that old!

Thanks Helen – we think that the young people at Triple Care Farm are very lucky indeed to have you contributing a chapter to their recovery “story”.

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A message of thanks!

To help young people in crisis, we rely on a community of friends to work with us.

We are so grateful for the generosity of all of our donors, Corporate Partners and Foundations on this journey with us.

Together, we are helping more young people in crisis to overcome addiction and develop skills to find their independence in the community.

On behalf of the young people, their families, friends and communities, thank you so much for making that change possible.

Donate now
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Congratulations on 10 years, Anna!

We recently celebrated Philanthropy Manager, Anna Beaumont’s 10-year work anniversary with the Foundation. Although supporting her family’s Foundation since its inception in 1990, Anna formally became an employee in 2011.

And what a 10 years it has been! In that time Anna has abseiled off skyscrapers (overcoming a fear a heights) and walked the Kokoda Track in 2014, (overcoming a fear of jungles, leeches and mud).

All in the spirit of fundraising for youth in crisis!

Anna says she has seen some remarkable changes to the Foundation and Triple Care Farm throughout the past 10 years, including the first youth specific, purpose-built withdrawal program, David Martin Place.

“It’s been a privilege to see hundreds of extraordinary young people graduate from Triple Care Farm and work with wonderful staff and generous and loyal donors,” said Anna.

Congratulations Anna – your kindness, grace and commitment to carrying on your Dad’s legacy is truly something special!

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Connect for Youth crowdfunding event - 7 April 2022

Experience the magic of collective giving at Connect for Youth – Sir David Martin Foundation’s annual crowdfunding event on Thursday 7th April, powered by The Funding Network Australia. 

We are thrilled to announce that last year’s brilliant MC, ABC Broadcaster James Valentine, will be joining us again  – bringing all his warmth, wit and compassion to this exciting event.

During the event you’ll hear about the impact of Triple Care Farm’s youth treatment programs during three short ‘shark tank’ pitches from our three remarkable speakers, before being invited to make your pledge.

Together, through philanthropy we can create lifesaving change for young people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

We hope you will join us!

Donate and help young, vulnerable Australians break the cycle of addiction and have hope for a brighter future.

Donate Now