The Buttery a mental health, substance use and gambling treatment charity operating across the NSW Mid and Far North Coast Regions is responding pro-actively to an increase in people seeking help during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Buttery’s Community-based programs quickly adapted to the pandemic. Since March, all programs have been available on-line, via a number of media platforms continuing to provide much needed counselling services and responding to an ever-increasing demand for programs.
The Buttery’s Therapeutic Community (TC) and Maintenance to Abstinence (MTA) residential programs near Bangalow continued to operate during the Pandemic and are now accepting new participants. The Buttery’s social enterprise, The Buttery Private, a user-pays program near Murwillumbah is also accepting new participants. Covid-Safe measures, strict hygiene and social isolation measures are in place at all locations.
Until a comprehensive Covid-Safe plan was developed utilising Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) resources and guidelines, collaboration with our partners at the Northern NSW and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts and the LHD public Health units, new intakes for the TC, MTA and Buttery Private were paused. Staff were placed into separate teams. Staff were able to provide a combination of face-to-face and remote on-line counselling.
“The Buttery is confident that the resources and guidelines we have developed in consultation with the public health unit, staff and participants about being Covid-Safe means that all three of our residential programs are able to accept new residents safely,” said Buttery CEO, Leone Crayden.
“We’ve been working closely with the North Coast Primary Health Network since the outset of the crisis. As well as providing expert advice, the PHN has also facilitated The Buttery’s community-based programs by giving access to technology for holding groups and counselling sessions remotely,” Ms Crayden added.
“It is an especially challenging time for the people we serve. People with mental health and/or substance use or gambling issues are under increased pressure due to the anxiety of facing the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been challenging for Buttery staff assisting clients after devastating floods and fires in our Region and more recently the Coronavirus pandemic.”
The Buttery has worked to meet the increasing challenges in our communities while prioritising the safety and well-being of our staff and clients.
· Community outreach programs are being delivered remotely via on-line platforms.
· Staff have completed specialist infection-control courses.
· Stringent social isolation and hygiene measures have been introduced at The Buttery’s residential programs; its TC, MTA and Buttery Private.
· As of June 1, new participants must undertake a period of self-isolation on campus.
· The Buttery’s social enterprise, The Buttery Private was closed and re-opened on 1 June with rigorous precautions in place to guard against transmission.
· Staff are being supported, where possible to work from home and those at all Buttery locations from Tweed Heads to Post Macquarie and in between are practising social isolation and strict hygiene measures.
· In 2019-20, The Buttery treated more than 2,500 people in its residential and community programs which operate across the NSW North and Mid-North Coast Regions.