Tom* was a 17yr old who fled from home after a serious physical altercation with his dad. He was diagnosed with mental health concerns including depression and anxiety and although enrolled in year 11, was totally disengaged from school and learning. Tom had difficulty engaging in social situations, struggled in groups and found it difficult to trust people as a whole. Although Tom had some contact with his mother, he felt emotional distress around his family dynamic and living situation and missed his siblings “all the time”.
“I did drugs and alcohol to make me feel better.”
He couch surfed for some time before self-referring to Youturn’s crisis accommodation program who provided Tom with safe accommodation, food, a bed, advice, and emotional support. In addition, our team mentored Tom to achieve his self-identified goals towards independent living, including life skills like budgeting, helping him retrieve his Centrelink CRN, applying for Youth Allowance, updating his resume, obtaining a Mental Health Care Plan and referring Tom to headspace Toowoomba to help address his concerns in a clinical environment. Youturn supported Tom’s application to the Department of Housing and helped him complete his driving hours to attain his P-plates.
Now in transitional housing and soon to buy his first car, Tom has become a strong, independent, hardworking, and well-read young man who carries himself with respect and proactive thoughtfulness. His impressive cooking skills are still missed, but he visits on a regular basis and drops in for dinner to catch up with his former housemates and our Youturn team, including choosing to spend Christmas day with them all at Gateway House.
“Things could have turned out so differently for me… but now I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”