13 Mar 2015
Justine and Dean’s father separated when Dean was a child, soon after Justine began to notice changes in Dean’s behaviour, stating that he was becoming more aggressive and rebellious. Dean also began experimenting with marijuana at the age of 9 which lead to Justine seeking assistance from a child psychologist, who later disengaged without a referral for further support. As Dean got older, he began using heavier drugs including ice and at the age of 19 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which was not adequately managed. As time progressed, Dean has been through numerous services including Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment facilities, mental health related services, correction facilities and hospitals. However, Dean never received the care and support he needed for his complex needs.
Justine had become frustrated that her son could not receive the suitable support that he required and felt as though Dean was always put in the ‘too hard basket’. This worsened over time to the point that Dean would be refused a service no matter the circumstances. Faced with ongoing barriers from professionals who did not want to help her son, Justine was left feeling hopeless.
After being placed on a Community Corrections Order, the Department of Corrections made a referral to Partners in Recovery as they were not able to assist Dean with his complex needs. After the referral and assessment process, Dean was linked in with a Support Facilitator from South Eastern Melbourne Partners in Recovery (SEMPIR).
Since working with the Support Facilitator, Justine feels as though this has given Dean another chance at a positive life and that the support he is receiving is like ‘nothing they’ve ever had before’. Justine believes that the Partners in Recovery program has been created to specifically address Dean’s complex needs. Justine has been very pleased with the way the Support Facilitator has supported Dean and herself during the process, as she hasn’t had this kind of assistance before. During the course of Dean’s recovery, Justine has been constantly involved and kept up to date of all changes to Dean. This has been cherished and appreciated by Justine as she has not had this experience with other services before. Throughout the Partners in Recovery experience, Justine has felt as though she has been valued and listened to by the Support Facilitator. Having supported Dean from the very beginning and gone through many different services, Justine believes the change in her son’s life all began with Partners in Recovery.
Overall, Justine has found the experience to be one filled with hope and support for her son.
* All consumer and carer names have been changed for privacy purposes.