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Visiting a Positive Fork in the Road for Struggling Young Australians

Last week, a few members of the CreditorWatch team and I, took a trip to Robertson, New South Wales to visit the Sir David Martin Foundation’s Triple Care Farm – and what an incredible, eye-opening experience it was.

This coming October, we will be climbing down the 33-story BT Tower building in Sydney for the Abseil for Youth event to raise funds for the Triple Care Farm. Upon receiving an invite for an open day luncheon from the foundation, we seized the opportunity to learn more about it and were happy that we did.

Triple Care Farm, funded by SDMF and operated by Mission Australia, provides a supportive and safe environment for young adults between the ages of 16-24 who are seeking to address their substance addictions, homelessness, family breakdowns and mental health illnesses.  The foundation helps 100 young adults per year to turn their life around through residential living skills programs, counselling and individual case management, vocational training, sport, recreation, music and arts programs.

Triple Care Farm is situated on rolling green hills in the Southern Highlands and with gorgeous views. Its peaceful environment leaves you feeling immediately relaxed. Our day began with a presentation which provided some staggering statistics and an insight to issues affecting young adults across Australia.

100% of the young adults entering Triple Care Farm 12-week program have had a substance abuse issue and 93% experienced a mental health issue. 86% were using five or more substances.  Many students who check into the farm haven’t completed year 10. From 2012 to 2017, suicidal rates in young people have increased by 83% and anxiety by 73%. There is an obvious need for help like the Triple Care Farm.

The program offers a holistic 12-week approach to helping young adults get back on their feet. If they need to detox, they will enter a medical centre on site for a week. The point of difference here is that students are still supported for the week after they finish the detox to prevent relapses. Other detox centres don’t provide that option. The detox suites are beautifully designed with views of horses and gardens. Students are taught how to calm their mind and release tension through Dialectical Behavior Therapy. We experienced the benefits of DBT during the presentation on the open day.

After the detox, the foundation helps young people continue their education and provides them TAFE-like education and training. They can leave with barista certificates, horticulture training, WHS white cards and skills to drive a forklift. On site, there is an art room and music house for students to express themselves and explore talents. One of the students was working on his DJ skills during our tour. Many help with the gardening and landscape of the farm. There is also a gym to encourage physical and mental health.

After talking to some of the lovely young adults who were taking us on the tour of the Triple Care Farm, we learned that many become really close friends and support each other. We met a few students who were about to graduate. One student was going to finish his university degree. Another was inspired to get back into training again. We learned that many of these young people simply got on the wrong path and it was important to see that this could happen to anyone.

The wonderful part of this foundation’s model is that students are fully supported throughout the entire program. Halfway through, they are encouraged to think about what they want to do when they graduate. By the time they leave, they are entering society again with a safe place to live, skills, and training to gain employment.  85% of the students make it to the end of the program. The success rate is clear- the model works.

Our eyes have been open to the struggles facing young people but also hope, as they have a supportive, proven environment at Triple Care Farm to overcome this challenging stage in their lives. When we climb down that 33-story building in October, we will do so knowing that our fundraising efforts are going towards a fantastic organisation and helping 100 young adults get a second chance in life.

If you would like to contribute to our fundraising efforts, please visit the link below:

https://donate.grassrootz.com/sirdavidmartinf/abseil-for-youth-2018/creditorwatch

Photos from our visit: