Dylan was 21 years old when he referred himself to Triple Care Farm rehab to address concerns of methamphetamine use and a history of misuse of marijuana and ecstasy.
At the time of intake, Dylan* identified a treatment goal of abstinence from all illicit drugs.
Dylan had recognised the negative effects of drug use on his mental and physical health. He realised it made him irritable, hyper vigilant, aggressive and it had an impact on relationships, study and work commitments.
At intake Dylan reported no specific diagnosis regarding his mental health, but he shared that he had tried to commit suicide two years earlier. Dylan reported experiencing childhood neglect, financial hardship and incarceration as significant events. “My whole life’s been s**t, I’ve had a bad life”, he said. Dylan stated he wanted to attend Triple Care Farm to get off drugs and be “normal, feel better about myself and be a better person for my family”.
During his time at the farm, Dylan said he felt challenged by many aspects of the program and “being out of my comfort zone”, but he soon discovered hands-on learning and creative expression as a way to reduce frustration and regain focus while developing new skills.
Dylan attended art therapy (group) and open art class each week. He demonstrated commitment, diligence and pride in his creative practice, and a willingness to share his artistic approach with others.
Through his art, Dylan was able to research, reconnect and appreciate his indigenous culture and bond with significant family members. Dylan told the staff that the process enabled him to feel a sense of belonging and purpose.
Dylan discovered that he enjoyed being creative and spending time in the art studio helped him express himself in a way that didn’t depend on words. Dylan used creative practice and the process of symbolic dot art to communicate and narrate his story with confidence and pride.
As a departing gift to staff, Dylan donated his artwork to TCF, hoping to also inspire new students as they enter the program. The art work featured in the Mental Health Exhibition held in Robertson.
Your support helped Dylan to turn his life around. Thank you.
*Name and image changed to protect identity.
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