‘Quit your job now. Sam will need full time care for the rest of her short-lived life.’
The doctor spoke again:
‘She will never gain employment, or live independently.’
Sam, 19, was in acute psychosis.
Covered in blood and unable to tell staff if it was hers or someone else’s, she was scared. Incoherent and confused, her body (liver failure) and mind were breaking down.
Involuntarily admitted into a frightening mental health ward, Sam was at a crossroads.
‘My weight dropped to 55 kilos. I knew I wasn’t well.’
In three short years, Sam’s life had unravelled following a spinal injury when she was just 16. An opioid addiction (from prescribed pain killers) had escalated into frequent binge drinking, cannabis consumption and ‘whatever drugs were around’. A diagnosis of schizophrenia followed.
‘I had no life. I didn’t want to be the person I was.’
“The hardest thing I ever had to do.”
Triple Care Farm is for brave young people who ask for help.
‘When I say the three months at Triple Care Farm were the hardest times of my life, I’m not even close to exaggerating.’
The impact of the farm program has never left Sam.
‘I cried, I begged to go home. A life of drugs was far easier than anything on the farm.’
Arriving at the farm with plastic bags on her feet to ‘avoid the germs getting into my brain’, a beanie, sunglasses and an oversized jumper, she hid from the world. Hearing voices and paranoid, it was the counselling sessions that were the hardest.
‘Letting people in – that was impossible. I feared being judgement. I was desperate not to be the person I was.’
But one winter’s morning, sprinting across the frosted grass, Sam burst into the farm offices with unbridled excitement. She desperately wanted to ring her mum.
‘I had woken up, and for the first time that year, I wasn’t hearing voices. I wasn’t paranoid. My head was clear!’
This is the power of your support.
Sam’s bright future.
We are so proud of Sam.
This April, she is 12 years free of drugs.
Since leaving the farm, she has completed a certificate in Youth Work and Mental Health, a diploma in Mental Health Drug and Alcohol and a degree in Paramedicine. Next year Sam hopes to begin post graduate studies in Chronic Disease Management.
Today she works full time, helping mentally unwell people control their weight, physical health and fitness.
Remember, this is the same girl whose family were told she would need full time care for the rest of her short-lived life.
‘I graduated university in 2019. Mum watched on, tears streaming down her face – tears of pure joy, tears of pride’.
This is the power of your generosity.
To support the work of Sir David Martin Foundation, please donate online today.