David Atkin is the CEO of Foundation House a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation facility established to support mental and physical health within the construction and health services industries and spoke to Michael Pachi about the help they provide. When you think of construction workers, the stereotypical image is of tough, outdoorsy types who bond over a few beers – but the reality is that those who work in the industry are plagued with the same insecurity, fear and pressure as many others. How different is our reality to our perception of a construction worker When we think of perceptions we talk about men and women who are physically strong and we sometimes minimise the demanding environment that these guys work in. we fall into that trap where physical strength is mirrored with emotional strength and resilience and that’s where the barriers get blurred. The men and women are strong, but they’re vulnerable just like the rest of us. What are some of the problems they face? Working in the industry, it’s challenging. They face fatigue, they work long hours, 6 days a week under stress to meet deadlines. The environment itself is outside and in constant motion, in all-weather types. It’s a robust environment and sometimes fatigue plays a role. What about the drinking culture? We find ourselves on a slippery slope – the culture we want to address is drinking at lunch time, going to the pub, then going back to work. The industry has been looking at that culture for some time. One [...]
Andrew's video of his time at Foundation House. Watch the rest of Andrew's story below and to #SupportYourOwn.
Katherine's inspiring video of her time at Foundation House. Watch the rest of Katherine's story below and to #SupportYourOwn.
Today marks the second day of Men's Health Week in Australia, but what does this mean? Men's Health Week provides a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men's health and to raise awareness on physical illnesses that may be overlooked. Along with the physical, Men's Health Week encourages men to speak up about mental health, an area that is surrounded by stigma and an unwillingness to talk about. There is a growing number of male suicide in Australia. Males in Australia are more likely to die from suicide rather than skin cancer - yet we know comparatively less about the processes that lead to suicide and how/when to effectively intervene. At Foundation House, we support Men's Health Week. We encourage men to speak up, to talk about what's going on for them. We introduce a man to himself in hopes that one day they can become friends. To kick off Men's Health Week, watch Phil's story below and #SupportYourOwn
Watch Dennis' story of his time at foundation house below
Why exercise is important in treatment of addiction, and why we incorporate it into our daily program.
At Foundation House, we incorporate a morning walk and yoga into our program which is a requirement for clients who enter our facility. Some clients ask why, some don’t ask at all. The reason is surrounding the theory that individuals who engage in regular aerobic exercise may be less likely to relapse and continue with drug-seeking behaviour. We integrate basic fitness into program as a form of meditation in motion. The minor concentration that someone places on the physicality of walking or yoga allows them to experience psychological and emotional benefits of meditation – even on the move. There is a release of endorphins throughout the body when you engage in exercise; related to a similar feeling when using drugs/alcohol/gambling. Research has shown that daily exercise, even for only 30 minutes, can reduce stress significantly over time. A chemical found in the brain (known as Galanin) considerably increases during and after exercise which has been shown to diminish stress-related cravings. "Several studies have shown that, in addition to these benefits, aerobic exercise has been effective in preventing the start, increase and relapse of substance use in a number of categories, including alcohol, nicotine, stimulants and opioids," says Panayotis Thanos, PhD, RIA senior research scientist. "Our work seeks to help identify the underlying neurobiological mechanisms driving these changes." Although we believe minor physical exercise is important to stay clean, it is not the only thing. It can be added to the recovering addict’s toolbox to be used when appropriate. Exercise can become an addiction in [...]