Gabriella Holmes is the Program Manager at Triple Care Farm for Mission Australia located in New South Wales. She joins Health Professional Radio to talk about the program she is in charge of. Its drug withdrawal program supports young people for up to 28 days, providing supervised withdrawal and a range of holistic therapies. Gabriella explains why she is very passionate about helping young people (teenagers) affected by drug addiction and how she helps them recover and get them back on their feet.
To learn more about Triple Care Farm, their programs and the people behind it, visit them on their website: www.sdmf.org.au/youth-progams/triple-care-farm
Tabetha Moreto: Hello everyone. Welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host for today, Tabetha Moreto. Our guest today is Gabriella Holmes the Project Manager at Triple Care Farm for Mission Australia which is located in New South Wales. She’s here to talk about the wonderful work she does at her organization. Without further ado, welcome to the show, Gabriella. It’s so nice to have you here.
Gabriella Holmes: Tabetha, thank you so much for having me. I look forward to speaking with you this afternoon about the program’s Mission Australia offers here.
T: My pleasure. So can you please tell the audience more about yourself and the nature of your work?
G: I’m the Program Manager for a Mission Australia Project called Triple Care Farm. Triple Care Farm works with young people 16 to 24 from throughout Australia who are stepping out of the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction. They come and stay with us at our property to participate in a number of different programs. We have a withdrawal unit based here at Triple Care Farm and that offers a supported medicated detox program for up to 28 days. Young people are then able to if they choose to move on to the residential rehabilitation program also based on the same property up to 12 weeks and then young people have been supported back in their community for up to six months through our aftercare program.
T: That sounds wonderful. Can you tell us how is Triple Care Farm different from other rehab programs or centers in Australia?
G: Triple Care Farm is set apart from other services because it is a unique integrated program where young people are able to access a spectrum of services all in the one site that’s individualized and integrated to meet those young people’s needs. So instead of needing to pop from different services to different services at different stages, you can actually participate in a large spectrum of the service. So you can start detox here, have that medical support at the beginning of that withdrawal process and then move into a very very comprehensive treatment program at Triple Care Farm and the residential rehab, so available on-site over that 12 weeks. We have a number of different programs available. We have a residential living skills program. We have accommodation for up to 18 young people to participate in the program at any one time. In that residential program, we help young people to build up their independent living skills – cooking, cleaning, learning how to take care of personal hygiene, building up their interpersonal skills, learning how to relate to other people, really the backbone of the program what young people often referred to as a home. Then during the day, we have a vocational education training program where young people are able to participate in a course that provides a U-turn equivalent qualification. We do that in partnership with an organization called … Community College. As a part of that training, we also have modules to complete a barista course and to complete a horticulture course and young people really enjoy that aspect of the program. We also have a metal work and a woodwork program. We provide trades training including a forklift license, completing your work Health and Safety white card and then we have an education program where we’re helping young people to build up their literacy skills. We also have a farming and landscaping program. We’re situated on 110 acres and so young people are able to learn how to take care of a property. And we also have a music program and a creative arts program. The music program offers both young people to be able to have the opportunity to write and record their own songs, as well as learning instrument. And the art program focuses on fine arts both as a creative expression and as a therapy. So we do painting scope to work a really big spectrum of Fine Arts within that program. We also during the week have a counseling team. We do both individual and group counseling and then we have medical staff that supports the program. And then on the weekend, it’s about really building health and fitness, getting out there and having some fun so participating in a big range of sport and recreation activities from bushwalking, bike riding to doing indoor rock climbing. Then when a young person’s finished those programs, we support them for six months in the community. So we … and set apart because we have all of those programs offered to young people through the one program.
T: That’s wonderful. It sounds like you have a very special organization because you not only help young people overcome their addiction, you also teach them and educate them in a variety of ways in order for them to use those skills, in order to live a productive life once they get out of rehab.
G: Yes. Absolutely. That’s one of the impacts that Triple Care Farm is able to help young people. We asked them when they start the program – “What is it that you would like to achieve?” and for most of them it’s, “I want to stop using drugs. I want to have my own home and I want to have something to be able to do. I want to be able to be connected.” I mean they’re pretty reasonable goals that all of us have but for these young people, many of them felt that’s unattainable. So being able to both address the reasons why they may have entered and started using and equipping them with the skills and the passion to be able to find something that they connect to it when they leave Triple Care Farm is really important. Because if young people feel that they have a purpose and the confidence to use the skills that they’ve got then what we see as a significant engagement in education, training and stable accommodation which is really where we want to see them excel and shine.
T: That’s fantastic to know. Now, Gabriella, if you don’t mind can I ask you a personal question?
G: Yes. Certainly, Tabetha.
T: Wonderful. Actually, I ask this to all of my guests who come on the show. Can you tell us why are you so passionate about helping people especially young people recover from addiction?
G: Certainly. So I started working at Triple Care Farm in the year 2000. This is my 18th year being a part of the program. The thing that keeps bringing me back to this work and being so excited about it is watching young people flourish. The young people that we support have been faced with every barrier that our community can throw at them. Many of them have experienced significant trauma and really don’t feel worthwhile. What I see, time and time again is young people actually develop a sense of worth, fullness. So rather than feeling worthless start to feel that they are worth something and then start to smile and start to connect again and have the strength to actually step out of the trauma that they’ve experienced. It’s a great joy to be a part of that. So that’s what keeps me coming back for the last 17 years.
T: Wow. That’s amazing 17 years. So that means you really care about young people especially when it comes to overcoming their addiction.
G: Yes. Absolutely.
T: I would love to chat with you more, Gabriella, but we’re running out of time. Before we go, can you please tell us, for those who want to contact Triple Care Farm how can they do that?
G: The best way to find out about the programs that Mission Australia offer is through the Mission Australia website. So that’s www.missionaustralia.com.au.
T: Fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on the show, Gabriella. It was wonderful having you.
G: Tabetha, thank you so much for your time.
T: And that was Gabriella Holmes, Project Manager of Triple Care Farm. If you liked this interview, transcripts and archives are available at www.hpr.fm. We’re on all social media platforms. So don’t forget to follow like and subscribe. Show us some love by subscribing to our HPR YouTube channel. We’re also available for download on SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Tabetha Moreto and this is Health Professional Radio.