Leone Crayden is CEO of The Buttery.
Leone Crayden is CEO of The Buttery.

Rehab services under more pressure due to virus

PEOPLE are buying more alcohol and more are seeking help for mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

The Buttery rehabilitation centre, based at Binna Burra near Bangalow, currently has a five week waiting list for mental health programs.

A total of 90 people are currently awaiting a residential rehabilitation space there, but they might face a long wait as incoming residents must be quarantined.

“That number for us is about average,” she said.

“Our concern is how do we put people in isolation for two weeks when they come into residential rehabilitation?”

She said this was working, but proving challenging.

There’s a five week wait for family support services.

CEO Leone Crayden said she was concerned about how the coming months and even the aftermath of coronavirus (Covid-19) might look for people living with the sort of challenges her facility helps with.

Employment is for many people a deterrent from lapsing into addictions, but for many people this safety net has slipped away.

Under strict social isolation rules, the social support that’s so vital to treating mental ill health or drug and alcohol addiction is often unavailable.

“We’re seeking an increase for people seeking rehabilitation, outreach programs, counselling, or family support,” Ms Crayden said.

There’s been a 33 per cent increase in Australians who are drinking daily and 70 per cent of people are drinking more than they usually would.

Ms Crayden said The Buttery was seizing every chance to harness technology to connect with people and they’re working on a new mobile app.

But she’s concerned the number of people in need of help would grow in the months to come.

Calls to the centre have increased across the board by 20 per cent in the past month and with key funding streams due to be renewed in June, Ms Crayden said it’s uncertain times.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

Ms Crayden said she strongly support’s the Federal Government’s addition of more mental health funding, but said help for drug and alcohol issues was also vital as some may “self-medicate” with alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription medicine through these challenging times.


  • Lifeline: 13 11 14

• Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or 1800 512 348 (Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service)

• DrugInfo: 1300 858 584

• Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS): 1800 250 015

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