A note from Jenny Leahy, SDMF Fundraising Coordinator, on the calls we receive from families every day.
We receive phone calls and emails on a daily basis at Sir David Martin Foundation from parents, grandparents, case workers and the young people themselves.
This is where I get a small taste of some of the struggles that families go through who have a loved one caught in substance abuse. Of course each family is different, but I regularly hear that they don’t feel there is enough help out there and don’t know what to do.
It’s an exhausting road to find the right support for their young person and often they really just need a listening ear to hear their story.
I spoke with a mother on the phone yesterday who told me that she has worked in the Australian court system for years which involved dealing with young offenders in the community. The cases that she would deal with seemed a life away until her son became caught up in drugs. This is when she began to experience her own child getting in trouble with the law for drug abuse and domestic violence. She had to take out legal protection for herself against her own son.
Being a mother myself, I could feel her need for support and her need to be heard. “I’m living my worst nightmare” she said. They had tried several rehab services that weren’t a good fit for her son and he was also turned away from a service because of his outstanding criminal matters. She was afraid that without proper help, he might slip backwards again.
I began to feel a shift of mood…an increment of optimism when I explained the Triple Care Farm (TCF) program to her. I assured her that TCF staff would help to ensure that any court obligations he had were met and that he would have their full support. Sue was starting to feel hope again.
I further explained that her son would be staying at the farm alongside other young people his age who have faced similar battles. We discussed the opportunities he would have to set educational goals for himself, learn important life skills, as well as having the option to take part in wood and metal work, music or art classes and exercise daily in the on-site gym.
Sue said right before she hung up that she felt she had all the information she needed to show all of this to her son and help him to put in his application for the farm. She was feeling a lot more positive about getting the help their family needed. I could hear in her voice that even though they still had a long way to go, she was not giving up.
I felt really proud that we (Sir David Martin Foundation) were able to be that first point of call for Sue and offer her this advice and guidance.
I then reminded Sue that she was doing a great job as a mother – something all Mums need to hear. We had helped guide another family in the right direction to get the support that their loved one desperately needs.
This service is only possible because of the continued support of our wonderful donors who we are so thankful for. I wanted to share this phone conversation with you – one of many – because these are the lives that you touch.