Far North Queensland’s newest residential rehabilitation facility for alcohol and other drugs support has officially opened in Mareeba, allowing regional people access to treatment closer to home.

On Wednesday March 15, Mission Australia hosted the opening ceremony of Djindigal, a purpose built, 10-room facility which provides treatment over a 12-week program.

The opening ceremony will be attended by Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister, Chair Ian Hammond, Mission Australia staff and community members.

Ms Callister said she was delighted to finally open this vital service and thanked those who advocated for the project.

“It’s called Djindigal, which in the language of the traditional landowners the Djabugay people, means healing place,” she said.

“Djindigal has been designed to provide a home-like environment for people recovering from substance use concerns,” she said.

This new facility is situated on 22 acres which provides the peace and privacy for people to access the support they need, when they need it.

“It important for locals in Cairns, Atherton Tablelands and surrounds to have alcohol and other drug services nearby because access is a vital element for people to get the support they need.

“We are grateful for the community and government support and to those who have championed this facility.

“We know Djindigal will provide incredible support, not just for the residents but also for their families.”

Construction of the project started in January 2022 and was completed in December, with the first resident joining in January 2023.

The program includes a further six months of practical and therapeutic aftercare support for individuals when they return to the community.

The service aims to provide a way for adults to take control of their substance use and reduce the negative impacts on their life.

It will empower and equip them to achieve their individual goals relating to their substance use, and to be able to continue their recovery journey after they leave the residential rehabilitation setting. 

Residents who live in Cairns, Atherton Tablelands and Far North Queensland are prioritised.

“Unfortunately, there is a critical shortage of residential rehabilitation facilities in regional Australia, which is why we are opening Djindigal today,” Ms Callister said.

“The recovery program is broad and encompasses many aspects of life to give the resident the best chance with their fresh start.

“Everyone deserves the chance of a new beginning and no one should have to battle their addiction alone.

“Our high level of care includes individual support plans, medical support, counselling, financial planning and access to other Mission Australia programs to aid the transition back into the community.

“There is a growing demand for such services, and we hope these service models can be expanded to other locations, including in rural, remote, and regional areas.”

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