How Mental Health Retreats Can Help Australians


Do you have anxiety, depression, a drug addiction, chronic stress, or a combination of these? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. In any given year, about 20% of Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness, and the most common mental illnesses are anxiety, depression and drug use disorder, which can be caused by chronic stress.

The good news is that mental illness can be attended through mental health treatment. In fact, many people with a mental illness can make a full recovery, while others are able to manage and control their illness extremely well. So if you need help, you could benefit from going to a mental health retreat.

Here, we’ll look at what mental health retreats do, how they can help you maintain good mental health, and the cost of getting help.

What does a mental health retreat do?

A mental health retreat offers a safe and relaxing place for people with mental illness and chronic stress. They also provide treatment programs that include complementary therapies (eg yoga and massage) and formal counselling, with support and assistance from mental health professionals like psychologists, counsellors, therapists, and personal trainers. Their aim is to help you manage and recover from your mental illness and stress, as well as help you maintain good health and well-being.

There are plenty of good mental health retreats in Australia that offer rehabilitation for anxiety, depression, drug addiction, and stress. These include:

  • Albert Road Clinic, Melbourne VIC
  • Palladium Private, Maleny QLD
  • Northside Clinic, Greenwich NSW
  • South Pacific Private, Curl Curl NSW
  • St John of God Health Care, Burwood NSW
  • Wesley Mission’s Private Hospital, Ashfield NSW

In addition to mental health retreats, the Mental Health Foundation of Australia can also help you deal with your mental illness and stress. They offer support groups, resilience programs, educational seminars for cutting-edge mental health issues, online and face-to-face forums, articles providing help, and telephone referral service. What’s more, they host fundraising events to promote better mental health for all, a positive attitude towards mental health, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

How can they help you maintain good mental health?

A mental health retreat is a place where you can ease your stress, anxiety or depression, and learn how to relax without resorting to alcohol or drugs. For example, if you have chronic stress, you may be put into a therapeutic program that gives you essential stress management skills.

A mental health retreat can help you maintain good mental health by offering complementary therapies, such as:

  • Yoga –  A series of physical exercises that help you control your mind and body. It can reduce the stress and worry associated with depression.
  • Acupuncture – Fine needles are inserted into your skin and left for a short period of time. They stimulate your nerves and trigger the release of your body’s natural painkillers. It helps decrease anxiety and depression.
  • Colour therapy – It’s believed that colours affect your mood and certain colours can enhance well-being and relieve symptoms of depression. If you have anxiety, blue may provide calming relief. If you’re sad, yellow could stimulate happiness. If you’re exhausted, red could increase your energy.
  • Relaxation therapies – These include deep breathing, meditation, and positive visualisation. They address the mental and emotional causes of depression, and help reduce stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias.
  • Massage – It’s not only relaxing, it also rejuvenates and refreshes your mind and body. The use of aromatherapy oils can help ease tense muscles related to depression, alleviate anxiety, and relieve stress.

How much does it cost to get help?

The cost of getting treatment for a mental illness and chronic stress varies between mental health professionals. But you can get part or all of the consultation fee subsidised when you see certain health professionals, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or therapist.

Before you can access services for treatment, you’ll need to see your General Practitioner (GP). If stress, anxiety, depression, or drug abuse cause problems in your life, your GP will prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan in consultation with you and then refer you to a mental health professional for treatment. The plan outlines your mental health needs and goals, as well as treatment options and support services to reach those goals. You’ll need it to qualify for subsidised treatment, ie get a Medicare benefit when you see a doctor. In some cases, a referral from a psychiatrist makes you eligible for subsidised treatment.

Staying at a mental health retreat for treatment can cost you around $2,000 to $5,000 a week (about $286 to $714 a day). Fortunately, the government or your private health insurance provider can help pay part or all of the cost of your treatment and accommodation. For example:

  • Under the Better Access initiative, Medicare benefits are available when you see mental health professionals for individual or group sessions.
  • In the Australian Government’s primary mental health care program, Primary Health Networks fund mental health services for people with a mental illness. These include low intensity mental health services for early intervention, psychological therapies provided by mental health professionals, and primary mental health services for people with severe mental health conditions.
  • If you have private health insurance, you may be covered for mental health services. Contact your insurance provider to find out what services you’re covered for and to what level.

Get the help you need

Are you ready to take the first steps on your road to recovery? A mental health retreat can help you overcome your mental illness or chronic stress by providing a relaxing environment and treatment programs that improve your mental health and quality of life, with little or no out-of-pocket costs incurred.

Palladium Private is a private mental health provider that tailors programs to their clients in order to facilitate their rehabilitation process. To find out more about how Palladium Private compares to other services and what a mental health retreat can do for you, call 1300 573 095 or click here.