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Help and hope for men in crisis

21 February 2012

Help and hope for men in crisis

“To see the emotional condition of some of the guys who come in here, I’m sure if we weren’t there to help, the suicide rate would be much higher.

“We try to make a genuine difference in their lives, offering one-on-one counselling and looking at where they’re coming from, where they want to go and what steps are needed to take to get there.”
- Peter Woodward

They seek short term refuge for a variety of reasons, and many just need a hand up in a dark time to stop them spiralling into homelessness, dangerous depression or anger.

Many of the men who find refuge at the Griffith (NSW) Salvation Army Men’s Crisis Centre find themselves homeless after a relationship break up. Others are seasonal farm workers, whose jobs have dried up over recent years.

Some present with mental health issues, or issues from a dysfunctional past.

One section of the men’s service (which exists on two sites, with units in the community purchased several years ago with the generous assistance of bequest funding) recently underwent nine months of desperately needed refurbishment.

The refurbished crisis centre, originally built by volunteers from Griffith Lions Club around 40 years ago, was re-opened in August.

The bright, clean new rooms help to lift moods and expectations, says Peter Woodward who manages the centre.

Peter says: “I believe it makes a difference to have clean, pleasant surroundings, especially coming from a dark, drab situation at home, or out of jail where everything’s a grey colour. We’ve got the rooms painted brightly, not dark and dingy as they were.”

Peter says the greatest joy that he experiences is seeing lives transformed.

He says: “It is a joy just to see the broken guys coming through, and spending time with them, watching them heal and get their lives back on track.

“You take them as they are. If they need help, you give it to them.”

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Hope where it's needed most

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