I'm returning to my true self

When Hugo hit rock bottom he reached out to Triple Care Farm for help.

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Meet Hugo... a young man who is turning his life around

His story offers encouragement, help and hope to other young people living with serious mental illness and addiction.

Hugo was a cheeky kid from a close family. He mixed with great friends, loved art and had a lot of love to give. Life was good. 

“I think my last year of school was my best year ever. I was confident and happy.”

However, with the routine of school behind him, life unravelled rapidlyThe depression and crippling anxiety that he suffered in silence for many years became more than he could bear 

“I could be in a room full of people but feel totally alone. Like lots of young people, I hid it well for a long time.”

It was relentless, exhausting, debilitating. Even surrounded by family, friends and opportunity, he was desperately lonely.  

But cruelly – and this is what mental illness can do – he could not stand to be around other people.  

To ease the pain and seek relief, Hugo started self-medicating with drugs.  

Soon, this became an addiction, with escalating doses required to face each day. 

“It was only when mum noticed my slurred speech that people started to panic. I had turned into someone I didn’t recognise. My first thought of the day was to self-medicate.”

help-young-people Hugo
help-young-people Hugo

Hugo had a happy childhood as part of a loving family, but says something inside him just never ‘felt right’

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“I did seek help, but counselling is very difficult when you are not sober. You can’t think straight.”

Hugo also had a stay in an adult detox facility, however without support back in the community, he relapsed. The facility did not address his underlining mental health issues 

Here was a young man who just wanted relief, and when he realised that his very life was in danger, he found Triple Care Farm. 

A return to the real Hugo

Hugo is now two months into his three month stay at Triple Care Farm. For the first time in years, he is sober, clear minded and receiving the right clinical and psychosocial care. 

help-young-people Hugo
help-young-people Hugo

With the support of his counsellor Lauren, he is addressing his mental health issues and learning about triggers. He is setting goals for the future and slowly returning to his true self – a young man of love, trust and loyalty.  

Art and music therapy, living skills and vocational and educational training (pictured left) have also been part of his treatment journey.

Hugo knows that his recovery will take time and admits that the thought of leaving Triple Care Farm is scary. 

This is why the six-month Aftercare program that Sir David Martin Foundation funds is critical for a young person’s long-term recovery and growth.

The program supports young people as they reintegrate into their own communities, helping them towards further learning or employment opportunities.  

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How you can help

Hugo is one of hundreds of young people who are currently working hard at turning their lives around, thanks to people like you.  

It goes without saying that 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. 

Unfortunately, in times of crisis, our most vulnerable young people are even more at risk, and it is no surprise that demand for our services has surged.  

We rely on the generosity of our supporters and corporate partners. If you can support Sir David Martin Foundation and help young people in crisis, please click Donate Now today

Hugo just wants to live a normal life

When asked about what he’s most looking forward to after he completes his treatment, Hugo says he just wants a “normal life”.

“I want to keep busy, get a good job, restart my studies and continue waking up feeling normal and clear.”

This is a far cry from the socially isolated, depressed and severely anxious young man who wondered how long he would survive his addiction.  

We are so proud of Hugo. Thank you for reading his story. 

Hugo mental illness and addiction

Today, Hugo is sober, clear minded and looking forward to spending Christmas with his family