It’s not just residents who are changed by Hope Springs Therapeutic Community; pharmacy students Sara Dierckx and Lycia Liew recently spent a week working with residents.
They spent the times participating in elements of the therapeutic community program, and both came away grateful for the experience.
As part of their fourth year studies at Curtin University, the pair were required to complete practical placements and both took the opportunity to undertake their placement in Geraldton.
Organised by Curtin University in partnership with Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (WANADA), their placement involved 4 weeks working in a Geraldton pharmacies and one week at Hope Springs.
At Hope Springs, Lycia and Sara learned about medication and medication reviews, and participated in woodworking and physical training sessions with the residents.
A meaningful impact
However it was the residents themselves that had the biggest impact on the pharmacy students.
“I was not sure what to expect, but it was completely different to what I imagined. Watching the residents, talking to them one-on-one – it was wonderful experience,” said Lycia.
“You always hear stories about people with alcohol and drug issues, and you think you know what it’s about. But until you actually know someone, and truly engage with them, then you don’t know, you don’t understand.”
Sara agreed, and said she was grateful to all the residents for their openness.
“The resident shared so much of their lives, and how they wanted to change and move forward,” said Sara.
“I’m really grateful to them, they made a real imprint on us by sharing different experiences in their lives. The residents at Hope Springs are nothing like what is sometimes portrayed in the media.
“I’ll be taking a lot with me. I learned a lot about people experiencing alcohol and drug issues and I think my time there means I will be a better health professional – and a better person – in the future.“