Bruce's Story

Age: 26

Location: Sandford

Referral Source: Seafood Industry Employer

RAW was contacted by an employer in relation to an employee within their Aquaculture business. His name is Bruce*.

Bruce had recently opened up about the difficult time that he was having outside of work. Bruce wasn’t normally one to open up about his personal challenges, so his employer spoke to him about the Stay Afloat program and encouraged him to reach out to RAW for support.

Chris, RAW’s staff member working within the Stay Afloat program made contact with Bruce that afternoon and after a brief conversation, Bruce mentioned he would prefer to catch up in person. Chris caught up with Bruce at his home and immediately noticed that Bruce was distressed and upset.

Bruce shared his love and devotion for his three kids, and that his ex-partner suddenly relocated to the mainland. Bruce only found out when he went to pick up his kids for the weekend and the house was completely empty.

Bruce shared more about his kids and spoke proudly about their interests and milestones. Bruce came to life with joy when sharing about how uniquely different each one was in the way they saw the world.

Over a period of sessions, Chris empowered Bruce with resources he could use for this period to help him navigate this challenge both personally and as a family unit. Chris connected Bruce with a local dad's group and facilitated booking a GP appointment. Due to stress and overwhelm, Bruce had started to find it increasingly hard to sleep and eat, which was starting to impact his work.

A day before the doctor's appointment Chris received a call from Bruce who explained that he could not afford to attend the appointment due to being off work for mental health reasons.

Bruce gave consent for Chris to speak on his behalf with his manager in relation to his well-being and mental health. After a short discussion, the employers wanted to assist Bruce by paying for his doctor's appointment. This allowed Bruce and Chris to attend the doctor's appointment, complete a mental health care plan and receive a referral to a psychologist for further support. Chris and Bruce worked with his employer to establish a reintegration-to-work plan.

Bruce continued to receive ongoing support from Chris and his support networks, with Bruce being able to make contact with his children who were still on the mainland.

On Father’s day, Chris sent a message to Bruce with:

““Thinking of you today mate. Reach out if you need a chat.””

The following day, Chris received a phone call from Bruce’s employer concerned about his well-being after a mandatory drug and alcohol test returned positive.

RAW is providing ongoing support to Bruce as at June 2023.

*names and locations have been changed for privacy reasons
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