NDIS Respite at Retreat South

NDIS Respite at Retreat South

The last two years have been tough, and everybody is looking forward to a break. Respite care is designed to allow NDIS participants with a necessary break too.

Retreat South has a team of highly skilled professionals who can provide quality respite support and leisure activities for NDIS clients or their carers.

At Retreat South we provide a respite program for self-funded or fund managed NDIS clients. Our team has wide experience in mental health and health support. Each day they can provide NDIS participants with a variety of opportunities to try new activities during a stay at our private country retreat.

Our short-term respite programs include accommodation in your own private suite. Meals are prepared and served to you. Daily activities can include combinations of activities like yoga, exercise physiology and massage.

You can explore your creative side too. Our arts and creative team can provide one-on-one sessions in our fully equipped art and ceramics studio.

Along with your private accommodation, our nutritionist will provide you with all your meals.

Our respite programs can also include psychotherapy from our psychologists throughout your stay. That way your respite will be a truly holistic experience for mine and body.

We base your respite program on your individual needs so your stay will be a rewarding as well as relaxing one.

You can develop skills as part of our creative programs and increase your confidence and social interaction

Our dietary and health sciences team can help you develop healthy routines which can be a real advantage in post-hospitalisation or following illness.

And Retreat South is pet-friendly.

Call us today to discuss how we can help you with a relaxing and rewarding change.

Recovery from the Pandemic

The pandemic has caused some major changes to the way we live and caused some major changes to our mental health too.  Lockdowns and restrictions on our social lives have been tough going for so many people.

In recent months the gradual uptake of vaccinations means an end in sight to lockdowns and other restrictions.  With achievable vaccination rates in the Australian population, restrictions can be relaxed on a more permanent basis.

Australians are eagerly watching other countries and how the pandemic is fading. The prospect of people being able to get out and out and about again by the end of 2021 is taking a lot of stress out of our lives and instilling a feeling of hope.

Lockdowns came suddenly, making us change how we go about our lives and adapting to living and working inside. As we emerge from the necessity of lockdowns, we can do so in steps if we need and plan gradual returns to normality.

Although lockdowns had many downsides, they gave many of us some advantages when working remotely. Flexible working hours, wearing informal clothing, even loungewear, eating at home, more time with family, more recreation time and no commuting time, even more sleep time.

Returning to the workplace will mean losing all of these. Significant changes like children returning to school and less contact time as parents return to workplaces will cause anxiety and sadness in being separated from children, partners and family.

As the effects of the COVID pandemic impacted on us, the use of alcohol and other substances began to increase to help deal with the stress of the situation.

More and more people began drinking or increasing their alcohol intake during COVID. Now with recovery from COVID in sight, recovery from dependency is becoming an issue for many.

We hope that these posts will help people understand the many mental health issues caused by the pandemic and the recovery process we will encounter as we progress into ‘Covid Normal.’

Retreat South is an accredited facility specialising in the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD and grief. We also specialise in recovery from substance abuse. Call us now to find out more about how our programs can help you.

Psychology lead recovery for alcohol dependence

Psychology lead recovery for alcohol dependence

Alcohol continues to be the biggest addictive substance facing Australians. New statistics show that during 2019/20 alcohol was the most common substance-related issue people sought treatment for in the public health system during 2019 and 2020.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s annual reporting, a third of nearly 140,000 people who received treatment said alcohol was the biggest problem

Many people drink for a pleasurable experience. For some, it puts them in a better mood while many drink to reduce stress and anxiety.   

When the impact of the global pandemic in March 2020, saw a range of restrictions, many people resorted to drinking and taking other substances to deal with the uncertainty and anxiety. The report also revealed that other substances such as amphetamine use continued to rise over the past decade.

Prolonged use of alcohol or misusing it, use can cause significant physical and mental health problems. In turn, that can lead to disruption in work and personal life, problems with family and other relationships, and even financial and legal issues.

The team at Retreat South has extensive experience in treatment for alcohol and other substance dependencies. Through regular sessions with our psychologist, our clients develop strategies to deal with situations that trigger addiction-related behaviours. Our treatment programs combine these psychological treatments with creative and physical therapies. Nutrition and diet are also part of our programs to help overcome addictive behaviour and aid recovery.

Call us now to discuss how Retreat South can help you on the path to recovery.

Your wellbeing during the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic is taking its toll on mental health. In some countries the rates of depression have doubled. More people are trying to access mental health support too.

Health officials also warn that one of the consequences of the pandemic may be long-term impacts on the health and mental health of the population.

People living in Victoria in particular have had long periods of staying indoors. These social distancing requirements keep us safe but can mean being separated from friends and family. Even people at home with family still feel loneliness, depression and anxiety. For some, spending all day, every day with family is stressful for a number of reasons.

The last 18 months have been very challenging. And while self-isolation will be a reality remember it is in the best interests of your health and the health of others if you are required to stay at home.

If you are spending a lot of time at home or have limited outdoor time make the most of it to boost your wellbeing. Keep moving and active. Exercise is great for relieving stress. Physical activity helps keep you fit and well.  

Having a daily routine is a good idea. That provides structure and you can make exercise part of that routine. Don’t neglect cleaning. Keeping your environment tidy and clean boosts wellbeing too.

Eat well and regularly. There are many resources online that can help your find activities to help your structure your time as we limit our normal activities. There are many online resources too that can help with mental health during this time as well.

If you would like to talk about how Retreat South can help with treatments for a variety of mental health conditions, we are available on 03 5568 4155 or visit our website.

The risks of alcohol misuse

New research from the Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation reveals that one in five Australians ignore the harmful effects of alcohol. Young people especially remain unaware of the multiple risks associated with alcohol misuse.

More than half of the 1000 Australians polled by the foundation in May 2021 did not know what a standard drink was, and most were unsure or only had some idea of the recommended alcohol consumption guidelines per day or week.

The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend 10 or fewer standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks in one day to reduce the risk of injury, accidents or the potential for addiction.

With over 20 per cent of Australians not associating any harm with drinking alcohol, the Foundation’s conclusions are worrying.  A particular concern is that young Australians are at risk of long-term effects which will impact on their lives and continue to put pressure on exiting health services and specialised services dealing with alcohol misuse and other substance dependencies.

The Pandemic is thought to have been a significant contributor to the alarming attitude to alcohol and its effects. Australians spent over 15 billion dollars on alcohol last year, an increase of close to 27 percent compared to 2019.

If a people continue to drink and risky levels, they run the risk of physical illness such as cancer and also the risk of becoming addicted.

Drinking at any level contains some risk.  If you think alcohol misuse is a problem, you can seek treatment. Our team at Retreat South are skilled professionals in this area. You can contact us to discuss how we can provide a program to help you.

Treatments that work for you: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Therapy is one of the most important parts of a residential program at Retreat South. There are many types of therapy to help us in mental health treatment. So, finding the right therapy or combination of therapies is important to you.

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed that between 2014 and 2019 nearly seven thousand people had more than seven episodes of treatment for alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues.

AOD treatments help people reduce harmful AOD use. In the Institute’s report counselling was cited as the most common main treatment type. Treating substance dependancy can be difficult. Sometimes, people need more intensive treatment to develop strategies to help them on their path to recovery. There are many types of therapy they might encounter. One of the most often used types of therapy is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT for short is a ‘talk therapy,’ that is used to help people to change their behaviour or their feelings. It is based on the idea that our behaviours are influenced by thoughts. Often these thoughts can be ones we are not even aware of, but they can be negative thoughts that can make us thing the worst about a situation.

CBT has been shown to be effective for many mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, issues that many people seek to overcome by using alcohol or other substances.

With the therapist a person begins to rethink negative thoughts, examining how and why they are unhelpful, and then replace these with more realistic, positive thoughts. Call us to find out more about our treatment programs and the types of therapy that help you on your path to recovery.

Sleep routines for wellbeing

Thanks to COVID, 2020 was a year like no other. For a lot of 2021 is a year like no other as well (except perhaps, like 2020). The lockdowns and stay-at-home rules changed so much for so many people. That changed a lot of things in our own personal lives. One of them was our sleep. Working from home meant no travel time so we might have started going to bed later, knowing we didn’t have to get up so early to prepare and travel. Now, returning to the workplace means going back to the previous patterns and that can be a hard thing to do.

People are finding their sleep routines are so out of kilter, they are finding it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep. Just going to bed and trying to does not work for many of us. Not being able to or stay asleep can be a sign of poor ‘sleep hygiene.’  Find that time to stop whatever you are doing to get ready for bed. Cut back on caffeine, especially at night. Start limiting screen time on your computer and media devices. Making your room dark, quiet and comfortable. These are helpful things for good sleep hygiene.

Some of us don’t get to sleep as easily as others. Some of us have interrupted sleep and long periods of wakefulness. Sleep doesn’t come easily to some people too. In fact, trying to do all the things that can make us sleep has a reverse effect. Specialists note that sleep responds negatively to effort — the more you try to sleep the harder it becomes. Losing that nightly battle to get to sleep can cause negative thoughts about having insomnia and can cause problems like anxiety and depression.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

One of the best treatments for anxiety-fuelled sleeplessness is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This type of therapy helps by changing the negative thought patterns that cause certain behaviours. CBT can help change the way we think about sleep by identifying the beliefs we develop about our inability to get to sleep or stay asleep.

Sleeping is just one of the ways therapy can help. Poor sleep can also be part of another health condition. But it is curable with treatments like CBT.

Avoiding risky drinking

In the three years leading up to 2019, nearly a third of Australians surveyed had reduced their alcohol consumption for health reasons. Despite that, there was been little change in the number of people drinking at risky levels. In 2019, one in four people drank at a risky level. Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) study the physical and mental health of the country.  The NHMRC has guidelines for safe alcohol consumption.  Because there is no change in the level of risky drinking, they revised the levels.

The recommended number of standard drinks was reduced from fourteen down to ten standard drinks a week (and not more than four on any one day), in order to reduce the risk of harm. Risky drinking is when a person exceeds those guidelines.

Risky drinking and problematic alcohol consumption still remain a major health problem for many Australians. Large amounts of alcohol are difficult for our bodies to process.  Long-term damage to the body can be severe, and regular drinking above recommended levels can lead to chronic illnesses such as dementia, liver, and heart disease and increased blood pressure.

It can also damage our immune system. With the increasing awareness of reducing the risk of infection during the COVID pandemic, we should be very careful about how much and how often we drink.

Sometimes that is harder to do because of alcohol dependency or addiction.  At Retreat South, we provide individualised program to assist you with dependency and other mental health issues.

For more information and to speak with someone about how Retreat South can help you,  call us on (03) 5568 4155 or contact us here.

A Single Solution to Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is how mental health and alcohol and substance use is understood and the way it is treated.

When someone has mental health issues and problematic drug or alcohol use the road to recovery can be complicated.

Sometimes that mental health condition can lead to alcohol or other substance use as a way of helping the symptoms of that condition. And, sometimes using or misusing alcohol or other substances can bring on a mental health condition. It can also make an existing one worse.

There are different ways that each person with a dual diagnosis is affected. This can often mean it is difficult to make an assessment and to treat the dual conditions.  The way a person recovers can be different too and have more likelihood of relapse.

It is common for people with mental health conditions to turn to alcohol or other substances as a way of self-medicating their symptoms. But, addiction is a mental health condition in itself. Having an addiction to any substances can be associated with changes in the brain which can cause depression, anxiety and some other, often very severe conditions.

Because dual diagnosis can be so complicated, it may require a higher level of medical and psychological support. When someone has dual diagnosis, they could need treatment from more than one type of health professional.

When someone has a dual diagnosis, residential rehabilitation with a multi-disciplinary treatment team provides a structured environment working towards recovery. At Retreat South we provide that team of highly qualified, health-care professionals with backgrounds in psychology and counseling, hypnotherapy and exercise to provide a residential program for you with daily therapies to fit your needs.

Why not talk to us today to discuss our comprehensive approach to dual diagnosis treatment. Call 61 3 5568 4155 or email at

Healthy Holiday Season for 2021

Healthy Holiday Season

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Even though COVID and its fallout is still upsetting our daily lives, as the year comes to a close it is possible to take some time for the new year ahead.

Covid may have changed our routines but over the holiday season you can choose to take. break from the routine and unwind and refresh yourself.

We can never say this enough times, but it is just as important to look after our mental wellbeing as our physical health.

The holiday period has always been a time to unwind. So try and make this time, a time to do exactly that. It is one routine we will all be happy to stick to.

Here are a few things to make this ‘routine’ relaxing time a way of reenergising yourself to prepare for the year to come.

Eat well. Christmas day has come and gone. One day of festive food and indulgence. Now it can be a time to be mindful about what we eat. Try some healthy alternatives. Enjoy the Summer fruits on offer. Cut down on alcohol, choose to eat what you really want and what temps you, but spare a thought for healthy foods too. They will help prepare your body for the new year while you prepare your mind with rest and recreation.

Get yourself outdoors too! Take your family or family friends and head to the beach, park or countryside. This is one of the easiest ways to be physically active and getting out in nature is a proven way to reduce stress. Don’t forget to keep in mind social distancing restrictions if they apply in your area.