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Catherine Buckley

Holistic Harm Reduction / Level 1

Awardee 2009

Holistic Harm Reduction / Level 1
Anne Bedos
Robert Fennell & John Kearney

We all need a soft place to land. A space where body, mind and spirit are inextricably linked. For those affected by drug abuse, they need a programme that sees beyond the addiction to the whole person.

Catherine is a community drugs worker in North Cork with insight into the existing facilities and choices available to addicts in Ireland. She has a background in health promotion and views health as being more than simply the lack of illness. Well-being has many facets: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social and societal. Many people steeped in drug abuse think of themselves as separate, isolated entities. This programme introduces interdependence and interrelatedness through nature, deep relaxation, nutrition and exercise for the body, mind and spirit.

Catherine’s Horsemount Farm is the setting for this Holistic Harm Reduction programme. The idyllic North Cork landscape offers unique opportunities for a variety of nurturing sensory experiences as well as healthy food, fresh air and silence. The programme provides an alternative within the community to drug users who want change and need a starting point.

Holistic Harm reduction saw its first ten participants graduate in 2010. There was a marked reduction in alcohol & drug use through urinalysis each week during the program. Two young men have since gone on to residential treatment, three have accessed out-patient treatment, one got his place back in Youthreach, two have applied for other courses and two others are still in school.

It’s an acceptance that all change is difficult and even small changes can bring degrees of happiness and peace.

Catherine Buckley

Catherine Buckley, Impact Award, 2009

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