Support program “a life-saver”

Photo of Anglicare Family Support Service

Anglicare’s Family Support Service supports Tasmanians living in the North and North West of the State who are affected by a loved one’s use of alcohol and/or other drugs.

Program participant Emily* describes the regular phone catch-ups she has with Anglicare practitioner Jasmine as “brilliant”. Initially lasting an hour every week, the sessions are now fortnightly, as her family’s situation has improved. The sessions are free, and will last as long as a person requires support.

“Jasmine has experience working with people who have addictions as well, so she can see issues from different perspectives,” Emily says. “She could explain why our son behaved the way he did and why it was important for us to set boundaries for him. She gave us permission to be happy about other things that were happening in our lives and that was a life-saver.”

Emily is positive about the future. She feels her family is moving on from a dark period that featured constant verbal abuse, damage to property and threats of violence.

“There are still trust issues, but our son is working now and understands how we expect to be treated through the boundaries we have put in place. We can even share a joke. And whenever a situation comes up that I’m not sure how to handle, I know I can ask Jas for guidance,” said Emily.

Sharing insights over high tea

Emily was one of 30 people who attended a special high tea held at Hawley House at Port Sorell earlier this month. Anglicare hosted the event to acknowledge and thank the loved ones of people with an addiction.

Speakers for the day were Rahnee Butterworth from Mental Health Family and Friends Tasmania and Anglicare’s Senior Program Manager Alcohol and Other Drugs Ruth Rowlands. The pair spoke about their personal experiences of supporting someone with an addiction, and how their feelings of shame, guilt and fear were gradually replaced by hope and understanding.

“The guest speakers’ stories and the stories of the other attendees were different, but there was a common thread about life with a person who has an addiction, and this was reassuring,” Emily said.

She recommends Anglicare’s program to anyone experiencing challenges with a family member or friend who uses drugs and/or alcohol:

You’ll feel like you’re not on your own any more – it can only help.

*We’ve changed Emily’s name to protect her privacy.

More information

Our Alcohol and other Drugs programs are free and confidential, and you don’t need a referral to participate in them.

Find out more about Anglicare’s Family Support Service here.

Anglicare also runs a support group for family and friends as part of its Smart Recovery program.

Find the full suite of Anglicare’s alcohol and other drugs programs on this webpage.

You can also call us on 1800 243 232 about any of our programs.

Anglicare manages the Alcohol and Other Drugs Helpline. The freecall number is 1800 161 266. Counsellors are available to answer your questions and find out your next best steps between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Mental Health Family and Friends Tasmania – check their website and Facebook page for resources and support sessions in your area.

Main photo:  Pictured at the recent high tea event at Hawley House are (left to right) Jasmine, Ruth Rowlands and State Manager Community Engagement, Addictions and Financial Counselling Mark Mason, all of Anglicare, and Rahnee Butteworth from Mental Health Family and Friends.  


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