A ten-year study by the University of Wollongong has revealed the effectiveness of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) for young people with complex needs at Triple Care Farm, Mission Australia’s residential rehabilitation centre.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Triple Care Farm assisted more than 250 young people on their path towards recovery from alcohol and other drug addictions in 2019-20.

What does a young person's treatment plan at Triple Care Farm involve? 

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an effective type of cognitive behaviour therapy used at Triple Care Farm to treat complex mental health issues and substance misuse. DBT is designed to help people move away from harmful behaviours and towards self-acceptance.

As one of the only rehabilitation centres in Australia using DBT, Triple Care Farm is truly innovative in its holistic and creative approach. From traditional methods such as one-on-one counselling to fun activities include roleplays, cooking and Celebrity Heads, DBT helps young people find a new routine and cope with difficulties.

Understanding its impact

A research partnership between the University of Wollongong 's Project Air Strategy and Mission Australia's Triple Care Farm has evaluated the effectiveness of DBT - a crucial part of our 12-week residential rehabilitation program

The study compared two groups of young people from the program over a 10-year period: the first group from 2008–2009 and the second from 2018–2020.

The study demonstrates the positive effects of DBT, residential care and early intervention for young people with psychiatric symptoms.

Read more about the results of the study in the paper, ‘Now and then: a ten-year comparison of young people in residential substance use disorder treatment receiving group dialectical behaviour therapy’.

Key findings 

  • DBT combined with residential care for young people continues to show positive effects in a 10-year comparison.
  • Young people seeking treatment today have overall increased levels of psychiatric symptoms compared to groups 10-years ago, reinforcing the importance of continuous improvement of psychological treatments.
  • Both groups experienced reduced psychiatric symptoms and had comparable increases in confidence to resist substance use.
  • The most recent group showed significant decreases in substance use severity six months after program completion, which were sustained 12 months after completion, and increases in quality of life.

Congratulations to the Triple Care Farm and Project Air team on publishing this important paper.

Read the report

Triple Care Farm functions thanks to our generous partners, donors and supporters including our major partner Sir David Martin Foundation. If you would like to assist, donate now.

Subscribe for the latest news

Related news and stories

Read about what we’ve been working on, our stance on important social issues and how you make a difference to vulnerable Australians' lives.

Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'