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I have everything to live for now!"

Leah, Triple Care Farm Graduate

From the age of 11, Leah struggled with the daily chaos and loneliness of mental illness. By 19, after years of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, she found Triple Care Farm and started on a path to safety and security. Your tax-deductible gift today can help other young people in crisis like Leah get the help and support they need.

“I came from a loving family – but I always felt like an outsider. No one in my family had any experience of mental illness – so I always felt different. Isolated. My parents took me to see paediatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists, everyone – you name it,” explains Leah.

“I couldn’t control my violent rages and massive physical outbursts. Those close to me would say, ‘Why can’t you just STOP?’” At just 15, Leah sought solace in cannabis.

“It was an escape, a way to calm myself down. But it quickly escalated into addiction. One drug wasn’t enough! I went onto the next thing. Then the next thing. All combined with a massive cocktail of prescription drugs. My mental health and violent rages were worse than ever. I stopped attending school regularly and was self-harming.”

Soon, Leah was couch surfing, saying that at this time she “chose drugs over her family”. Her turning point came at age 19, when she experienced trauma whilst sleeping rough surrounded by strangers.


“I remember hopping on my bike and pedalling back home to my Mum and breaking down and sobbing ‘I need help – I can’t do this anymore!’”

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“They didn't judge me"

Towards the end of 2017, Leah made her way to Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm for the very first time and was treated at the newly opened David Martin Place Withdrawal Centre.

When David Martin Place opened in May 2017 it was NSW’s first dedicated youth residential withdrawal program. Since then, it has treated hundreds of young people desperately in need of help.

“I’ll never forget my first day at Triple Care Farm, I was absolutely terrified.”

“Triple Care Farm offered the help I’d been looking for. They didn’t ask, ‘can’t you just stop?’ They listened and they cared. They didn’t judge me!”

As a result, Leah thrived with positive routines in her life. “I ate well, my medication stabilised and I was busy with counselling and classes. I also discovered my love of exercise.”

But Leah wasn't ready to be on her own...

When the time came to leave the program, Leah found temporary accommodation in a women’s hostel.

“Although I started well, the loneliness of the hostel was awful, and when my depression returned, so too did the alcohol and drugs. I was slipping back into old ways. I rang my Aftercare worker Todd and said ‘I need to come back – I don’t want to fall back into this pit’. He literally came down the next day and brought me back to David Martin Place.”

This final stay at Triple Care Farm changed the course of Leah’s life forever.

“I had to detox off everything again. The staff changed my life and were like family to me. If I was in a bad headspace they’d say ‘Ok Leah, let’s go down to the gym’ and that could happen three times a day. It was the understanding and acceptance I had craved my whole life!”

Leah has created her own safe place to call home

Today, Leah is working full time in Early Childhood, whilst studying to become a Personal Trainer. Now 23 years old, she recently purchased her own home with her partner. What a huge achievement! After years of instability, Leah has created her very own safe place to call home.

“Things were rough when I first left Triple Care Farm, so I just decided to keep busy. Soon I had three jobs in early childcare, afterschool care and at a fast food place. Often I was working from 7am in the morning until 1am the next day. But I had a steady income for the first time in my life. I met my  partner at work, and together we saved every inch of money we could. Three years later we had a deposit and bought a house together.”


“Honestly, it was really tough sometimes. But I woke each day with purpose. I had a purpose to stay clean, a purpose not to drink. Even when everyone around me was still making the wrong decisions, I somehow found the courage to say no.”

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A family reunited

Reconnecting with family was the next big step in Leah’s recovery.

“My family found out I was working and was clean and they were really proud of me. They invited me to visit and slowly I regained their trust. I opened up to Mum about things we’d never spoken about. I had caused them so much hurt and I didn’t know if they would ever forgive me.

“I felt so ashamed … especially about the physical violence towards my family. But they have been able to forgive me and through that, I’ve been able to forgive myself.

“Today, I’m just trying my best. When I have a rough day, I remember I have so much to lose. I have a house, a job, a partner, a new relationship with my family, including a new baby nephew and some great friends. I have everything to live for now.”

We need your help to support other young people like Leah

As the primary funder of Triple Care Farm, Sir David Martin Foundation relies on the generosity of our supporters. Leah shared her story as part of this Tax Appeal because she wants to help other young people find safety, hope and purpose in life. She wants others to get the chance to build a better life too. But we need your help…


“I honestly don’t know where I’d be without Triple Care Farm.  I owe so much to the program for helping me get back on the right track.  If Triple Care Farm wasn’t there I’d still be on a path of self-destruction, if not in jail or dead. They gave me a sense of hope that life could get better.”

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Please donate today to give safety, hope and opportunity to other vulnerable young people in crisis.

*  stock imagery used to protect privacy

** All donations to Sir David Martin Foundation over $2 are tax deductible