Our programs

Programs - Teaching people to thrive, not just survive!

The break runs a broad range of flexible, multi-approach day programs that allow people to access treatment and rehabilitation within the context of their day to day lives and without having to lose contact with loved ones. Because our day programs are fully integrated into their lives, participants are able to immediately practice what they are learning and apply this into real world situations. Our programs aim to equip those in need with new proactive/pro-social skills allowing them to regain their status as valued, contributing members to their communities. 

We run an accredited government program that allows people to gain credit in exchange for work as a way to pay off the debt created by infringements and fines.

All of our programs are designed to help each participant reach their full potential. It’s not enough to help individuals overcome a significant issue. We continue to support and nurture them as they forge a new identity in order to help them discover their full potential. We want them to find an enjoyable place in the world again where they can thrive. Participants learn how to operate in the world and how to make their dreams a reality.

We do not see those who choose to participate in our programs as clients or patients, instead we employ a collaborative approach and specifically pick non-judgmental and empathetic staff who support the evolution to a better self, rather than practitioners who just run processes. 

All  programs are limited to 16 participants or less. As funding allows, we aim to maintain a ratio of 1 staff member per 4 participants or less so that people get the most out of our programs and never feel like a number.

Our day programs may be right for you if:

  • You want recovery to be fun, and not a punishment
  • You believe in your innate worth, not a lifetime of derogatory labels
  • You want the option to stay with your loved ones whilst recovering, not with strangers in strange beds
  • You want to upskill beyond your issue, to not be in recovery forever but learn to thrive
  • You want to be treated as an equal becoming your best self, not a case to be fixed
  • You are looking to become one of life’s winners, not merely survivors 

Our day program is a new generation of rehabilitation for a range of issues. These include but are not limited to

  • homelessness
  • addiction recovery
  • mental health issues (such as anxiety and depressive disorders, adjustment disorders, PTSD)
  • recovery from domestic/family violence
  • exit counselling from charismatic groups
  • existential crises,
  • those just struggling in the world (e.g., single parents).

We have a range of staff with varied expertise who can address a vast array of issues.

OUR ACTIVE PROGRAMS ARE AS FOLLOWS

This project exchanges food for stories with Melbourne’s homeless and other rough sleepers. It documents on video the crucial parts of their lives, the highs and lows, that led them to where they are now. It returns dignity to them as people and not just the invisible to be ignored as we walk by. And hopefully if you recognise one (who was happy to have there face on camera, as it is optional) as you walk by after seeing their story you are more likely to help out with a few coins, maybe some food or even better a job.

Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftIo2osvwkk

Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuGv8inLIzM&t=258s

It is possible, for those who are approved due to financial impoverishment or many other barriers, to work off their fines. The Break Inc. are approved to undertake this role for approved people and can take on those approved to work off fines. A sum of $49.66/hr is removed from your fine for each hour worked. The Break Inc has many different tasks to offer WDP people and can accommodate those of different physical capacities and academic levels. We currently have people undertaking tasks ranging from feasibility studies researching potential new programs, assisting on the ‘Unknown Special Forces Memoir’ project, therapy groups, and labouring work.

We write the stories of exemplary people who would otherwise go unrecognised. Our first memoir, No Snowflake, explored the psychological impact of one Special Forces soldier’s efforts to save life in the military and battle against corruption in his adopted home after his service. He has led an exemplary life which deserves to be documented for future generations. The Break Inc. arranged a biographer and a team of support staff to collect his life story, fact check information and to publish it so he will never be forgotten.

This project seeks to make live music and entertainment available to everyone, not just those who can afford tickets. We seek grants and then partner with other charities (e.g., Park Towers Tenant Management) to run free to public events to bring everyone together and let them forget the troubles of their lives for a short while.

Kayak River Clean-up crew

We are copying a program run in the Denmark where people are given free kayaking if they collect rubbish while on the water. We have a dedicated kayak team of experienced kayakers who regularly run trips on various rivers and the bay. We have decided that a rubbish clean up combined with a paddle makes good sense. It is a healthy way to spend the day and makes the environment healthier at the same time. Win-win. If you are interested in joining us for this then email [email protected]

This was modelled from the highly successful Scottish MHR program. When the Scottish program was run it was used for depressed people presenting to General Practitioners. The GP would offer either anti-depressants or a tour with the local ranger through the national park. A follow-up review found the walk was more effective in alleviating symptoms than drugs for mild to moderate depression. So, we decided with so many beautiful parks in and around Melbourne we would launch our own program (with value-added extras) in coordination with Melbourne Parks. Our staff arrange tours as often as we have participants interested and can undertake this activity in coordination with other activities or program The Break run. We have enhanced the original program to add a picnic lunch, therapeutic arts, yoga, mindfulness and mediation.

A healthy, prosocial, proactive and environmentally sound way to spend the day is to kayak one of Melbourne’s waterways. Towards this undertaking The Break bought 11 tandem kayaks. We take eskys with food and drinks to spend a day on the water. This is undertaken as a tour to see a different angle of Melbourne rarely seen or in combination with fishing. We have experienced gudies/paddlers to help control the kayak for those not experienced in paddling. All trips are following a paddle lesson so you can hit the water confident you know what to do. We have lost no one yet so feel free to join us.

Research has found a precursor of addiction, loneliness, many mental health issues and even physical health complaints is social disconnection. Humans are mammals and are hard wired to be social beings, however, many of us for a multitude of reasons find ourselves without a social, let alone, a support network. To combat this issue The Break Inc. have developed a stigma-free social club that run regular activities where the socially disconnected can participate in various social activities which may include simple activities like coffee shop visits, picnics, movie groups, right through to hiking, kayaking or more adventurous activities. Activities are designed around what participants want to do. The rule of attendance is no one is allowed to ask anyone else why they feel a need to attend. Self-disclosure is initiated only by each individual, it cannot be prompted by others. This ensures everyone related to each other as people and does not need to disclose any embarrassing parts of their lives.

Group Therapy

It is not well understood in Melbourne that the Medicare system has a provision for group therapy, but it is so cumbersome to activate in reality it is almost never used. For some people this group format of therapy is more effective than individual therapy, as this peer support is very effective for vicarious learning and helps participants develop a support network they can rely on when away from their therapist (who typically is minimally available, if at all, between sessions). To avoid the unworkable rules set by Medicare on psychologists we employ highly skilled counsellors who hold postgraduate qualification in helping professions to facilitate groups. This allows us to operate when Medicare rule would otherwise stop groups operating for having to few (i.e., 5 or less) or too many (i.e., 11 or more) attendees, or exceeding the 10 session cap (i.e., we can run unlimited sessions with the same group members).  These sessions are run for less than a typical psychology gap fee, so can supplement support after the psychology sessions run out or between sessions, if you not using the services of one of our counsellors already.

We also run topics groups on specific areas such as Anger Management, Mindfulness and Relapse Prevention to delve deeper into these specific area which are of specific interest to some people.

The Break are hosting this program to (1) assist our various projects with extra labour, (2) helping people meet their Centrelink requirements, and (3)  provide opportunties for upskilling. A Work for the Dole placement with us is more interesting than mopping floors and emptying bins. We will gladly help you develop into a social enterprise entrepreneur, or at least support those already doing this work. Furthermore, you could get hands on in the community helping to run different projects if that is what interests you. We need people for roles in admin, research, project management, team management, right through to property maintenance. In this way we support people to avoid the potenitally oppressive oversight of Centrelink while doing something of worth for the community. We are also happy to write glowing references to high performers and earnest contributors.

Elderly check-ins

This involves sending volunteers to check-in on elderly people who lack adequate social support. Our volunteers do things such as sit for a chat and a cup of tea, assist with basic computer skills, help pay bills online (especially during the pandemic) and some help tidying up. We often send multiple volunteers, some completing WDP, so gardening and similar tasks can be completed.

We recognise not everyone can express and purge the feelings which weigh them down. Art offers an amazing tool to release pent up emotions and find expression where words fail them. We undertake this via Expression Through Art (ETA) and Art In Motion (AIM), the latter of which is undertaken outdoors on mental health walks or kayak trips.

The Break support disadvantaged people with food donations. This is undertaken by collecting food and then providing it either directly to homeless and disadvantaged people, or to various support organisations who have soup kitchens (e.g., Christ Church Mission). We provide to such organisations in both the St Kilda area and Western suburbs

The Break have combined the collective wisdom of their academic staff, people of lived experience, parents of children with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a games master. After research identified that role playing games (like Dungoens and Dragons) were particularly beneficial to people with ADHD/ASDs, our team custom designed games to facilitate the benefits even further. We now have online and face-to-face games available which can be accessed via NDIS or fee-for-service personal payments. Although the games can benefit certain players they are open to anyone to play.

The Break offers people a day program unlike any other. We run true reintegration training for people recovering from mental health issues, addictions and anger issues. We do actual training in society where it is needed. We provide resilience training in society, and not just in one’s imagination from within a therapists office. In this way participants can be sure to know they can apply the skills in the real world before leaving the program. We also offer a wide scope of treatment options to address the many contributing factors to addictions, mental health issues and anger. Our project runs as a day program with people being dropped off between 8 annd 9am, and being exiting the facility between 5-6pm. In this way those needing monitoring can be dropped off by family and collected by family outside of work hours. This is a fee-for-service program. It can also provide assessment and reports for court or other purposes. Counselling, case management, adventure therapy, group therapy, and more are all included in the program. 

The Break are developing a world class treatment facility which seeks to combine all the best elements of cutting-edge treatments into one program. Our goal is to create a facility which (1) is world class in terms of outcomes and techniques, (2) is a training facility for local and international practitioners, (3) employs the local community in support roles, and (4) provides services to the local community to bolster the local economy and to support children to not need to leave school prematurely to work with their parents in the fields. This project is still in development stages while we create a well-researched report for grant funders and apply for grants. 

Our resisdent technical genius has a pedigree in assisting people with disabilities to access technologies to simplify their lives. For example, he assisted a blind client to use a mobile phone app, which when he holds the phone over a newspaper it will read the text aloud to him. Other technologies he can also integrate into their lives such as talking canes, talking scales, and many other phone apps. He also undertakes training in how to use the computer and technology regardless of disability.

The Break offer courses in basic computer skills, anger management, mindfulness, relapse prevention, reintegration, meditation, and the list grows regularly. We undertake these programs both in and out of the office.