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11 August 2020
The Salvos' Project Hope at Dandenong Salvos runs Building Bridges – an evidence-based day therapeutic recovery program – to assist those in the local area battling drug and alcohol problems.
words SIMONE WORTHING
Jason* has spent 16 years of his life in prison and was addicted to heroin. After completing two cycles of The Salvation Army Building Bridges recovery program, he is rebuilding his life and has been clean for a significant period.
Kate* also completed two cycles of Building Bridges. She spoke about being treated with respect throughout the program and having her dignity upheld by the way she was encouraged, and held accountable.
The Salvation Army’s Project Hope at Dandenong Salvos runs Building Bridges – an evidence-based day therapeutic recovery program – to assist those in the local area battling drug and alcohol problems.
The Victorian Drug Court, based at the Dandenong Magistrates Court, recently recognised staff from Building Bridges for the impact they are consistently having in the lives of the program’s participants – people like Jason and Kate.
The holistic program runs over eight weeks and is based on helping participants work towards recovery and optimal health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is run in partnership with The Salvation Army’s National Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) services, led by Kathryn Wright.
“The concept behind it is that most people who are misusing substances don’t want to be but haven’t had the skills to make a better choice in life,” explained Program Manager, Major John Farquharson. “So we look at helping them develop skills to make wiser choices.
“Most importantly, we believe that every person is a human being created in the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We all battle with different issues; some of us just manifest them in different ways.”
Spiritual awareness is a key dimension of the program and is included in the teaching and discussions around social, emotional and physical health.
The program consists of group therapy, one-on-one interviews and case management. During the pandemic, this has been managed online and through phone conversations.
* Names have been changed.