Pathways to Mental health offers short term accommodation (STA) and respite, with therapeutic services centred around animal therapy with NDIS approved service. Sounds interesting? It is!  Read more about this unique service, set up by Sally Mills, who has worked in Mental Health for 30 years. Sally realised there was something missing in mental wellbeing, and set about to change that.

What is Pathways to Mental Health?

Pathways to Mental health grew when both Sally’s love of animals and nature came together with a deep passion to provide ‘out of the box’ therapy. To provide an environment where people would feel safe to heal, grow and blossom.  Just as our original inhabitants, (in Aboriginal culture) focus on listening and responding to what we, others and our natural environment needs. This is where Pathways slogan ‘earth care, people care and fair share’  is drawn from. It is this deep connection to each other and the earth that makes up good wellbeing. To be healthy physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, we need to practice behaviours that contribute to this connection. And that’s where her therapy team come in. 

Animal therapy at Pathways To Mental Health

Sally’s therapy team are registered, experienced and highly motivated to work with you so that you fulfil your expectations and goals in a stunning farmland setting.

The accommodation:

The accommodation is set in the centre of the farm and surrounded by animals. Beautiful big clear night skies and peace and quiet (apart from the odd “Eeyore” from the resident donkey ). The cottage is brand new and is well equipped with all that you need. There is a huge alfresco area to enjoy the cool breeze and watch the animals pass by. There is a fully fitted kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine and an open style shower room / wet room. All beds are extremely comfortable with good quality mattresses.

There is a step-free shower, a shower chair, fixed grab rails, and of course, step-free throughout. Free wifi and airconditioning are there for your comfort too.

And, the accommodation is pet-friendly too! So, bring your pet with you.

On-site staff:

Support is provided on-site and tailored to your unique needs. A qualified and experienced psychologist and mental health nurse live on-site, in a separate dwelling, and are available to provide support and guidance throughout your stay. EAGALA certified and CMHN (credentialed mental health nurse) and ACC accredited therapist (Australian association of counselling).   Before you arrive for your stay you will be able to plan your supports and therapy sessions which include equine-assisted therapy, animal-assisted therapy, CBT, and nature-based therapy. All therapies are evidence-based and provided by qualified and experienced practitioners, whether it’s for NDIS respite or not.

Sally and her team can cook your evening meal, help with washing or enjoy some music by an open fire together  – or if you prefer privacy you can have that too.

Read more about Sally’s Team HERE.

NDIS approved:

 Pathways provide NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) and respite. Participants can fund up to 28 days STA a year through Core Supports to promote wellbeing, rest and to meet your NDIS goals. They are also  Therapeutic Support providers. 

NDIS respite accommodation

The therapy:

The most important part to remember is that each participant is very different and unique. As such, their services will focus on your unique needs with their NDIS STA and respite.

Short Term Accommodation (STA) and respite will focus on your NDIS goals- whether that be increasing confidence in accessing your community, developing independent living skills, self-care or a breakaway to focus on stress reductions, resilience or mood regulations. Activities take place on the farm or you can go further afield with the support of your own or their support staff. It is a place to experience animal therapy to rejuvenate and recuperate in a caring environment. Pathways have an accessible stable allowing for direct contact with the therapy herd. Participants can get up close and personal with the resident alpacas, horses, donkey and goats!

Places to visit

As well as the onsite nature-based and animal-assisted therapy provided by Pathways close by, the Farmstay is close to Ballina and Byron Bay.

In Byron Bay:

In Byron Bay, the beach wheelchairs provide a unique opportunity for people with a disability or limited movement to experience the beach environment. The new beach wheelchairs are specifically designed to access rough and sandy terrain with a lightweight frame and modern, comfortable features.

Palace Cinemas, click HERE

The Farm, click HERE. Principally a working farm, they house a collection of micro-businesses all sharing in a common goal, supporting the environment and contributes to a healthier lifestyle.

Beach Wheelchair Hire click HERE 
(Read more about beach wheelchair hire around Australia in our latest blog HERE

Cape Byron Light House is stunning in its scenery, whilst the lighthouse itself isn’t accessible, the viewing paths are. Click HERE

In Shaws Bay:

Shaws Bay has always been a popular spot for leisure activities such as picnicking, swimming, snorkelling, canoeing and walking. This beautiful tidal bay was formed when the northern wall of the Richmond River was constructed near the river entrance. Along Compton Drive, this swimming spot is very accessible for those with mobility issues. Wide ramp access down to the sand in low tide or water in high tide, easy parking, seating area and accessible showers all create an enjoyable recreation area. Read more HERE.

In Ballina:

The current model of the All-Terrain Wheelchair is equipped with a removable footrest to make transfers in and out of the chair a simple experience. Available for up to a week, the wheelchairs are free to hire. The chairs can be collected from the Ballina Visitor Information Centre on River Street, open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information and bookings please contact the friendly staff at the Ballina Visitor Information Centre on 1800 777 666 or email balinfo@ballina.nsw.gov.au.

Ballina Pool complexes consist of a two swimming pool – a 25m semi-enclosed pool (perfect for those that like to touch the bottom and stay out of the sun!), an eight-lane 50m pool as well as a splash park for children. The pools are heated too, making it perfect for Water Rehabilitation activities. Read more HERE.

In Victoria Park Nature reserve, meander the easy and accessible boardwalk (which is completely flat) and you’ll immediately feel relaxed as you wander along the boardwalks in the cool rainforest. Read more HERE.

NDIS respite accommodation

And there you have it, no wonder Sally and her crew have already received fantastic reviews such as this one for their NDIS STA and respite or holiday accommodation. And that’s (in just 4 short months since launching their accommodation side of the business). 

Contact Sally and learn more HERE

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