Gold Coast Drug Council Inc - PO Box 2655, Burleigh MDC QLD 4220 - Phone: (07) 5535 4302 - Fax: (07) 5576 2512

MIRIKAI THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY PROGRAM

Mirikai, local Aboriginal meaning "a place of peace" is a specialist alcohol and other drug treatment program that works on a Therapeutic Community model. It's goal is to enhance the capacity and commitment of clients to achieve, as well as maintain an optimal level of personal and social functioning free from harmful drug use.

Mirikai's goal is to assist residents to achieve and maintain a personally satisfying and socially responsible lifestyle free from harmful drug use.

Who?
Clients are aged 18-29 years old and have complex problems associated with their drug use, including mental health problems. Clients aged 16-18 may be accepted in exceptional circumstances when referred by a health or welfare professionals. Clients can be referred from health, welfare and community organisations, or they may self refer. The maximum number of residents at any one time is 40.

Application for admission can be made in person or by phoning our Receptionist/Advice Worker on (07) 5535 4302. Suitable applicants will undergo a comprehensive assessment by one of our clinical staff.

How?

Length of the Program
This is a residential program with each stage of different length. Successful completion of each stage is a necessary pre-requisite for progress onto the next.

The total residential program takes about six months to complete.

The last stage, Re-entry to the community through one of the commitment houses lasts around six months, depending on the individual.

For clients with a dual diagnosis, tailored educational and social activity programs have been developed to support them through the program.

Program Stages
Assessment and Admission - during the first three weeks after arrival, all residents will be thoroughly assessed. This includes examination by a medical practitioner, with residents requiring detox placed in a appropriate and safe setting. The program works closely with other services such as mental health services, dentists, sexual health services, hospitals, Centrelink and legal services to meet each individuals specific needs.

Safety Net - this is a eight week intensive living and life skills program consisting of basic health and hygiene, self esteem, anger management, communication skills, relapse prevention, stress management, therapy and sports program.

Treatment - during this stage of the program, thirteen weeks, there is a strong emphasis on teamwork and developing the ability to trust others. Residents learn how to have positive relationships and to change their belief systems. They begin to learn how to be responsible for their actions by helping other people, and maintaining the daily running of the program.

Re-entry - in this stage, there is an emphasis on work based future planning. Residents live in a commitment house (supported accommodation), to test these new found skills before moving back into the community.

Rules of the Mirikai Therapeutic Community
In order for the Therapeutic Community to function, there needs to be structure and rules that all residents agree to live by. While these might seem overwhelming at first, people entering the community soon come to realise the importance of having clear guidelines for the day to day running of the program.

Where?
The Mirikai Therapeutic Community is based at 191 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads, Qld.

Cost?
Residents are expected to contribute some of their Centrelink benefit towards the cost of the program. The balance comes from Queensland Department of Health, community grants and private donations.