Nick’s story is an example of how we really can make an impact on young people’s lives’ -Janine Hutton, Youth & Family Manager
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN EVERY HEARTBEAT this December provides a heartfelt focus on youth and community, in particular Campbell Page FLO (Flexible Learning Options) in South Australia. Campbell Page FLO have had a huge impact this year, thanks to an innovative collaboration with Labs ’n Life. This unique program is SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) Year 12 accredited, providing pathways to further education, training and employment for young people. The Labs ‘n Life team bring the puppies along to our FLO SMYLE (Supporting & Mentoring Youth in Learning and Earning) Center in SA, where they work with young people to build their confidence as well as their team work skills.
Not only has Campbell Page FLO helped many young people to find their confidence and build their skills, the program has resulted in two of our students becoming program mentors. Working with the Labs’n Life trainers, the mentors help transport the dogs to other groups as well providing assistance throughout the course. Another Campbell Page FLO student has started the advanced training course, to become a qualified trainer. Campbell Page FLO is both impacting the youth community, and paving the way for opportunity.
Read on to hear about Nick’s journey . . .
Prior to enrolling in Campbell Page ‘FLO’ in 2013, 18 year old Nick had suffered from severe depression and social anxiety. Some days he felt so consumed by his anxiety, Nick was unable to even leave the house. Therefore he found it really hard to get to the Campbell Page SMYLE Office, so his case worker Jenni began to contact Nick via telephone and visit him at home in order to engage with him in a ‘safe’ space. Jenni and Nick started to work together to understand Nick’s background, and what the triggers may have been for his debilitating anxiety. Jenni also worked in consultation with Headspace, in order to provide Nick with a support service that could help him move past his anxiety disorder.
The process helped Nick to be able to understand where he has come from, as well as how he could begin to move forward with his life. Jenni and Nick mapped out his goals and aspirations, along with some long term strategies for how he can achieve them. Nick also had the support of his family who attended sessions with Jenni, to help understand how they could encourage Nick to get where he needed to be. Things began to dramatically change for Nick however, when he started the Labs ‘n Life program in 2014.
Nick was initially hesitant to get involved with Labs ‘n Life, but after the encouragement of both Jenni and his family he attended his first session in Term 4. A few sessions in to the program it quickly became apparent that Nick was beginning to grow in confidence, and in his ability to leave the house independently. The course provider commented that Nick was an ‘outstanding’ student, who had a ‘natural’ ability with the guide dogs. He also started to make friendships within the group, and to establish a positive bond with the trainers. Nick was the first to arrive at each and every session, and even volunteered at the Labs ‘n Life dog show that year.
Nick has now nearly finished the Campbell Page FLO program, and is looking at his future career opportunities with Jenni. With the support of his family and the guidance of Campbell Page, Nick has been able to turn his life around! He has a positive outlook on life now, and has even taken up regular exercise as a part of his weekly routine. Jenni has ensured that Nick is still connected to long term support services, but is confident that he has been given a new lease on life altogether!
If you or someone you know needs support with anxiety or depression, make sure you contact Lifeline on 13 11 14
For support with getting on track with skills, education or a job get in touch with a Campbell Page support worker