Dylan’s* childhood was upside down. His mum didn’t want him around. School was hard and he often got in trouble for fighting and misbehaving in class. Dylan became familiar with rejection and homelessness at only 12 years old.
His schizophrenia added to his uncontrolled violent outbursts. Moving from bed to bed night after night made it difficult for Dylan to keep track of his medication. It affected his mental health and made him an outcast at school.
He was banned from school sporting teams, excluded from outings and camps and later suspended for bad behaviour. It was easier to separate Dylan, his teachers believed, in order to maintain peace. But that exclusion took an enormous toll when Dylan was arrested for causing grievous bodily harm.
“I didn’t have any friends at school,” says Dylan. “I had no one to vent to, no one that cared. It all became too much and I lashed out.”
Fortunately, Dylan met one of our Youth Workers at the local court: a service we offer through our Outreach programs.
Slowly, our youth workers earned his trust and showed Dylan coping techniques to manage his anger. We helped him keep track of his medication and mend his relationship with his mum with the two of them attending counselling sessions as part of our Family Program.
The change has been remarkable.
And right now, as we face a greater need for our services, such kindness can’t come soon enough to support kids like Dylan who are still in desperate need of our help.
But together, we can be there for young people before they reach breaking point, and lift them up to realise their full potential.
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*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our young people
**All donations over $2 are tax deductible
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