Fo­cus brought change

Melville Times - - News -

ARMADALE’S Bree-Anna Till­brook knows first hand the life-chang­ing im­pact Youth Fo­cus can have on a young per­son.

The 18-year-old was just four when her brother died in a drown­ing ac­ci­dent in Col­lie, and by 10 she was deal­ing with a bro­ken re­la­tion­ship with her par­ents.

Af­ter be­com­ing de­pressed and sui­ci­dal, Ms Till­brook said she turned to drugs to help her man­age her poor men­tal health, but her life­line came when she was re­ferred to Youth Fo­cus for sup­port.

“I fell into a deep hole of self harm, pre­scrip­tion painkillers and al­co­hol and this led to my re­fer­ral to Youth Fo­cus from a school coun­sel­lor in whom I had con­fided,” she said.

“A break­down with my mum led me to move out of home at 17 and al­though it gave me a sense of free­dom, it opened doors of past trauma and at the time the stress lead to my ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion to want to end my life.

“This led to me be­ing ad­mit­ted into hos­pi­tal af­ter se­ri­ously en­dan­ger­ing my­self.”

Ms Till­brook said the sup­port of her Youth Fo­cus coun­sel­lor, fam­ily and friends had helped put her on the road to re­cov­ery and, af­ter be­ing told she would never grad­u­ate from school, she is now study­ing psy­chol­ogy at Mur­doch Univer­sity.

“I wanted to give back to the peo­ple that had helped me, like Youth Fo­cus,” she said.

“Without this or­gan­i­sa­tion not only would I most likely not be here at all, but I cer­tainly wouldn’t have the skills I now have to use on a bad day or the con­fi­dence I’ve found to be who I am.

“I am happy and healthy and I owe that to Youth Fo­cus for stand­ing by me while I got through a dark pe­riod of my life.”

Youth Fo­cus helped a record num­ber of WA young peo­ple last fi­nan­cial year, sup­port­ing more than 3600 youth through free coun­selling ser­vices.

If you or some­one you know needs sup­port call the Sui­cide Call Back Ser­vice on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Life­line on 13 11 14.

Bree-Anna Till­brook cred­its Youth Fo­cus with help­ing turn her life around.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.