3 February 2023

People with mental health and wellbeing challenges in Victoria will once again be able to access Mind Australia’s Mental Health Recovery Retreats.  

More than 25 Retreats are now open for registration, with three to four day retreat packages available throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria.  

These Retreats provide a unique opportunity for people with mental ill-health to reflect on building wellbeing in their lives in a safe, supported and flexible environment away from home.  

Participants receive high quality 24/7 support, individual accommodation, and take part in group recreational and educational activities.  

Lauren Marasco, Lead Practitioner for Mind Recovery Retreats in Victoria, said the new and improved model for Retreats in Victoria means Mind is providing more respite opportunities than ever before.  

“It has been a long wait for Victorians hoping to attend a Mind Mental Health Recovery Retreat, but the wait is finally over,” Ms Marasco said.  

“Retreats are back and they are bigger than ever; clients now have the ability to plan their own personalised respite breaks, including where they would like to go, what they want to do and who they go with.”  

Mind is also offering single-person (accompanied by a support worker) Recovery Retreat packages in Victoria.  

Participants on group and single-person Retreats can work with Mind to select a destination that best suits their circumstances and mental health recovery journey, for example a trip to the beach, a stay in the mountains or an arts and crafts getaway.   

“We believe the flexibility to do your Retreat your way helps to provide the best possible environment to focus on positive mental wellbeing and recovery,” Ms Marasco said.  

“All our Retreats provide high quality, individualised care but a single-person Retreat provides the opportunity to step away from the group dynamic, which is particularly beneficial for those who may feel less comfortable in a group environment.”  

Participants generally fund their Retreat via their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package.  

Marlon (surname withheld), who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, has attended three Mind Mental Health Recovery Retreats supported by NDIS funding. He described the retreats as a “new experience away from home”.   

“The Recovery Retreat provided an opportunity to go to places that I wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise,” the 28-year-old said.   

“It’s a good opportunity and experience to get out somewhere different to where I currently am.   

“I had less mental health struggles and less stress on the retreat. Meeting new people is the big standout for me and the activities really inspired me and provided good motivation.”  

Mind CEO Gill Callister said the Retreats actively build resilience, encourage community participation and provide invaluable respite for people experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges.  

“We aim to provide practical and motivational support that helps people to develop the skills they need to improve the quality of their lives,” Ms Callister said.  

“This means we need to help them feel strong, healthy and in control – our Recovery Retreats are a prime example of this mission in action.”   

Recovery Retreats in Victoria for the second half of 2023 will be announced in June.  

Download the Victorian 2023 Recovery Retreats brochure and calendar.  

View more information on Recovery Retreats in Victoria or contact us via Mind Connect – 1300 286 463.     


About Mind’s Mental Health Recovery Retreats  

Retreats are a unique opportunity for people with mental health challenges to experience time away from home while reflecting on how to build wellbeing in their lives.  

Retreats are supported by people with specialised skills in mental health recovery in a safe and flexible environment.  

Retreats feature:  

  • High quality 24/7 support  
  • Individual accommodation (no group/shared accommodation)  
  • Help with daily living and personal care  
  • Opportunities for those participating to design the structure of recreational activities and workshops
  • Food included.  

Recovery Retreats can be accessed through an NDIS plan under Short Term Accommodation. They can also be self-funded.  

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.