Grevillea Cottages at Mount Druitt is a place where people with mental health issues can stay while accessing a combination of services to help their recovery. It is a place where you can receive clinical services without being admitted to hospital, and it also has the social support services that we offer at our other RichmondPRA sites.
We recognise that hospital stays are a disruption to people’s lives and so Grevillea provides an alternative approach called PARC Prevention And Recovery Centre.
Some residents get ‘step up’ support for up to four weeks, coming from home to Grevillea rather than Hospital.
‘Step down’ residents come from the hospital to live at Grevillea for three to twelve months so as to be as close as possible to the community.
The three cottages have ten beds in all plus there is a recreation room with table tennis and pool tables. There is a large abstract mural in the recreation room.
‘Most of what we do is one on one,’ explains manager Alex Avenarius, ‘and we don’t generally run in-house group activities such as art groups.’
The idea behind PARC is for people to remain only for a temporary stay and so they would not be able to return to continue with the activities. That’s why we encourage residents to engage in activities in the community.’
One activity that is run in-house is physical training. Grevillea recognised the importance physical health in mental wellness.
‘This is the first PARC in the Sydney area’ says Alex, ‘though it has had a very successful ten years in Victoria.’
Most of the people who have accessed the service have participated in the ‘step up’ program, which means they have stayed at Grevillea as an alternative to hospital admission.
Clinical services are available within the cottages, provided by people such as Nicky, a registered nurse.
The idea is to ‘taper off’ the clinical services during a person’s stay.
The step down program, where people come to Grevillea out of Hospital, begins with the acute team at Blacktown Hospital who assess whether Grevillea Cottages might be a better alternative to continued admission. WH
Panorama Spoke to Aaron who recently stayed at Grevillea. Aaron plans looking for work so he can complete his qualifications as a diesel mechanic.
Some of the people at Prevention And Recovery Centre (PARC) from left: Aaron, Sophie Blackwell (Mental Health Worker), Alex Avenarius (Manager), Nicky (Registered Nurse), Christine Barber and Naca Buloubuli (Mental Health Workers)
RichmondPRA Mount Druitt
63 Railway Street
MOUNT DRUITT NSW 2770
02 9393 9200