Damien Kennedy from the Gri th Aboriginal Medical Service

Often the simple solutions are the most effective. In the case of Brian Harriman (pictured left) who suffers from depression and alcohol addiction, that speaks the truth.

Damien Kennedy (pictured right) from the Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service realised that a big problem for people with addictions was they often found themselves bored and with nothing to do, so they would turn to their vices.

He came up with the idea for addicts to fill that free time by creating things out of paddle pop sticks, and Mr Harriman couldn’t be more thankful that he did.

“I used to drink a lot and that was through depression,” he said.

“This idea has slowed down my depression a hell of a lot and because of that I don’t drink.”

His free time is now spent with a glue-stick in hand rather than a stubby.

“Instead of sitting at home and getting depressed, wanting to go get beer and just sit and do nothing I sit down and make stuff out of paddle pop sticks,” he said. “It took me two-and-a-half hours just to figure out how to make a wheel.

“That’s time that I’m not thinking about my depression or going somewhere to get a beer.

“I just think it’s great because it gives me something to do.”

The pair met during a a SMART recovery session at the Griffith Neighbourhood House in which Mr Kennedy facilitated the meeting.

From there he sought funding from the Griffith AMS and now wants to continue to grow and develop his idea, so as to help as many people as possible. “It’s a matter of getting the funding to keep these projects going so we can continue to help people,” he said.

“Hopefully it will be an ongoing thing now because the AMS like it and everyone else seems to as well.

“If there are people out there who are struggling with addiction, no matter what form, we’d like them to come down to Griffith AMS.

“Everything is private and confidential.

“A lot of people just don’t want to go there, don’t want to make that effort or don’t know what’s there, but we have programs in place that can help people.”

Author: Riley Krause
Source: The Area News 

You can reach Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service on 02 6962 0000, or after hours on 02 6969 5555

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