Research has shown that participating in the creative arts such as visual art, music, dance, or performance can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. TSU’s website remarks on how more than half the people who remained in the service reduced their drug dependence, experienced improved quality of life and experienced reduced psychological distress.
Lachlan has been working in this field for more than thirteen years now. He explains that when a young person is involved with crime or has issues with drug dependence, they’re generally hard to reach through traditional approaches. For Lachlan, that’s when a “hook” comes in. You’ll find an easier time reaching people by providing other things they’re attracted to; it can be as simple as a clean bathroom, or as complex as a recording studio.
Lachlan stresses that to be able to run something like TSU successfully, there needs to be a degree of predictability, assigned responsibility and accountability. If you involve young clients in what’s happening in the day-to-day, there’s a higher chance of getting them to really commit to what they’re doing within the service. An example of this is TSU’s Youth Council. They invite a variety of young people, some who may have been accessing the service for a long time and some who are just starting out, and they consult with them on the programs they’re looking to set up for next term as well as any potential problems within the group.
“Whenever there’s an issue, we all come together as a community to solve the issue.”