All Buttery programs are evidence-based and subject to a rigorous quality assurance program.

Programs are accredited under Australian Service Excellence Standards. We welcome feedback from everyone who undertakes a residential or community outreach program.


As well as providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation at its residential rehab near Bangalow and at The Buttery Private, The Buttery has many community-based programs.


In the 2019-20 year Buttery programs had 2,141 participants and 27,143 episodes of care.


The Buttery assists teenagers and adults who may have mental health issues, substance use issues and mental health issues.


Most participants registered high satisfaction rate. Some 88.75% reported Very High Satisfaction.


Here is what some of the participants had to say about their experience with a Buttery program and their interactions with The Buttery’s dedicated team.

Tina has always done her best to help me tick the boxes I needed to tick to get me kids back and stay off meth. Tina deserves a raise.

The worker has always stuck by me and does a lot to help me out. I am more than grateful for all the help I get. I don’t know what I would do without the help.

I couldn’t have done this by myself

Thank you Mandy

COVID-19 has added issues with being able to see Michelle and phone has not been quite the same. I withhold on the phone due to paranoia.

Seeing Ruth has saved my life, thank you

Service has been very caring and supportive more than I expected.

I can’t believe the help I have received. I’ve sabotaged things, been hard to deal with, but Mandy has always stayed present. I feel like she’s the only genuine person I know and the only one who gets me. She has never given up on me.

Couldn’t have done this without you

Staff are one of the most positive people who have ever helped me

I have learnt a lot about myself in this time it has been very enlightening.

I highly recommend your service and I am very thankful to have had this experience with Tina, she has been a shining star for me throughout this journey!

This program has been awesome for supporting me to make the changes I needed in my life.

I am very happy with the treatment I have received.

I have really enjoyed been a part of this program it has helped me to stay on track with my recovery and to overcome some hurdles in life by guiding me in the right direction.

I felt the different styles/methods of therapists was effective in different ways. I appreciated the honesty and care that each therapist brought to the group. I felt the group therapy sessions were the most effective and helpful sessions for me, only because I had read/learnt some of the Psycho-Ed content before. However, it was still very helpful to revisit. I learnt a lot from others peoples processes in group therapy as much as my own process. I very much appreciate how much of themselves the therapists brought to the sessions and feel like this was a huge factor in the healing because the therapists genuinely felt emotionally invested in our wellbeing and recovery.

I found Mandy was always approachable and never judged me. Always gave great advice and was there for me when I needed.

“It’s f#$@&ing fantastic”

It is a great service and Michelle is amazing.

You have always been on time, communication has been strong and I appreciate that.

Progress reporting at the end of each week by staff and clients where the group can write how they think each group member is doing and how they could improve.

I have enjoyed having the weekly calls. The support has meant a lot to me.

I think it is a great service and I am glad that it is available.

Michelle has always helped me to lighten a dark situation. Michelle is awesome, easy to open up to and understanding. Not a text book – open and great to talk to.

There needs to be more counsellors in Nimbin and Casino as this is an amazing service – I would hate to see Michelle burnt out and there is such a need. It would also be good to have out of hours care if this were possible.

Michelle is needed – I feel like this support keeps me going and helps me stay on track.

Michelle is always there when I need her and I like knowing this.

Michelle was always there, always helped. No improvement needed. I’m going to miss her.

I think Michelle is doing a great job and has helped me a lot.

Colleen has found support uncomfortable over phone during COVID-19.

I found Michelle to be great at listening not judging, trying to help in the best way she could. An awesome counsellor. I will miss her.

The best thing about the group was seeing Michelle. I don’t think anything could be done to make it better.

I enjoy Mark’s company, it is important to me.

Mark is a good bloke trying to help me help myself!

Ringing Mark is the highlight of my week, no more said!

I have really appreciated the art therapy component

I was drinking alcoholically and using benzos daily. I am now sober, off benzos and anti-depressants. I love the Buttery.

Mark is a great bloke, he is always checking in on me. Trying to support me with any issues, I have been sober 3yrs now.

Mark is a great guy and helps me every time we talk, he has always helped me in crisis and just keeps in touch.

This program keeps me well.

I like working with Mark a lot, he provides positive help and support.

Mark is a legend and helps me all the time.

Great service and really nice to spend tie with mark in nature and it helps me learn new coping skills and ways of managing my emotions better.

b.well is an important part of my recovery and life

I really enjoy working with Mark, the program has helped me very much. He keeps me focused on my recovery from mental health and alcohol abuse.

I really enjoy Mark’s company, I like his lived experience and easy going nature.

Mark is a wonderful man. Great support, no problem is too big.

Mark is wonderful to work with, he is caring and understanding and lets me come up with my own solutions which I like, and he makes me work hard.

Great service and support. Mark is amazing.

I enjoy mark as a worker, he is very skilful and flexible with his approach.

Mark is a worker that cares and shows it in his contact with me. He has helped my stay sober and provide direction for me when I get stuck. His gentle approach is good for me and he never tells me what to do.

Great service, excellent staff that are caring, kind and compassionate.

The Monday walks at Tweed Heads have been very beneficial to me for a number of reasons and I always take the opportunity to attend if I am physically well enough to.

*Sets me up mentally for the week and I appreciate having somewhere to go – to be accountable.

*Provides a social situation for me to engage with others and exercise gently at the same time.

*Provides me with the opportunity to share my thoughts with others and helps with my feelings of loneliness and isolation.

*Mark and Tunja are very caring and great to talk to. I have been able to speak freely to them about any manner of things and now I have extended that with Tunja to weekly private meetings. Tunja has given me guidance in dealing with my emotions, grounding, and discussing problem solving. Being a person that likes ‘researching’ things, I have also appreciated her referring to her resources to point me in the right direction. Tunja listens, I feel heard. It is very good for me to be able to feel I can speak to someone about my trauma and its effects on my life.

I have benefited from the consistent contact and support. I have found it helpful to discuss strategies in dealing with different emotions and thoughts. Our Monday morning meetings really help me – I have something to look forward to and am centred for the upcoming week. I appreciate the caring way Tunja interacts with me, and her knowledge.

Like b.well a lot, all the staff are helpful and easy to talk to. The walking group is excellent.

I am really still liking Mark staying in touch, he is really good to talk to and supports me a lot.

Mark is always checking in on me. He is kind and helps me with my problems. The group is also very good.

Mark is great at his job.

Been lovely and supportive service

Just recently asked my councillor for advice on a particular matter. My councillor replied that she can offer me a support focus to make my own decision but not a solutions focus. Unfortunately we had no time to discuss the matter, however and left it in my own hands and made the natter worse that day.

I wish I was aware that my councillor was not offering solution focused.

I have only had contact with Amanda but she has been brilliant and totally supportive. I feel she has helped me where almost all other counsellors have failed. I feel very fortunate to have been able to be part of this program.

I feel like I’ve just started. I’m happy to see Tunja. I need more support and not sure what support I need.

Going ok, not sure yet what I want but enjoy talking to mark .We will see where it leads me hey!!

Mark is a good man that is always supportive and encouraging. He does not judge me or push me too much. Good service!

So far I have been able to work through some of my problems and become more mindful of my triggers and learn new skills of managing them with the support of my worker. This has helped me a lot.

The treatment I have received has been just right. It has taken time for me to be ready and open to new possibilities and the staff have been sensitive and accommodating in this regard.

I have found this service very useful support and have found total abstinence for two years.

Both groups and one-on-one sessions were critical in my sustained recovery. Made a huge difference in my life.

The staff tried their best given their circumstances, and the regulations which they must abide by.

Not being a member of the fellowship, my therapy with my counsellor has been the cornerstone of my recovery. It has been what has bought me back to my recovery any time I’ve relapsed. I put my wellness down to the availability of this amazing service. Thank you.

I have found my 1 on 1 and group sessions to be very helpful in me gaining an understanding of my issues and in giving me tools on how to deal with them and also how to better think of myself. Ruth and Michael are a very kind, compassionate pair of counsellors and they have both been a part of guiding me through my early recovery. Thank you, Paul

I think they do a pretty good job

By keeping group participant numbers up (4-10 participants is a good number)

3 facilitators is good number as it makes one on one easily available.

Appreciate the long standing life of the group

The continuity of the programs I like, also like the online groups. Appreciate the commitment of staff.

Recruiting participants.

It’s been fantastic to be able to connect and talk about the things I’ve wanted to talk about it that I can’t talk about to other people.

I’m loving the phone call appointments

Funding for food when groups are running again.

N.A.

Very grateful. Can’t think of how the service could be improved right now.

I think if the larger group broke into smaller groups with a facilitator sometimes, could have been good.

Having 3 different counsellors has been really good.

I learnt some invaluable information throughout this program.

Thank you

All good

Good as is.

No improvements. My worker is amazing

This program as saved my life, introducing me to a quality of life I had thought I would not achieve again. My peace of mind and acceptance has improved so much, the goals I have today I could not have dreamed of having less than 12 months ago.

The service is fabulous as it is. I have improved my life having contact with this service, if not saved my life.

I actually feel supported. Seriously. I actually feel like you get me.

I think the world of Tunja and Frances too, I can’t think of anything at the moment where Tunja could improve.

Tunja is amazing. She makes me laugh.

The counselling service offered by the Buttery has been absolutely fundamental to my mental health throughout this year. Ruth and Bec have supported me through some really trying times that were compounded by circumstances surrounding Covid 19. I am eternally grateful for this service.

Non-judgmental and friendly at all times. I was able to set my own pace for recovery and was not judged at any time, i.e. if I had a lapse etc.

A good program, no pressure and good understanding by Mark

More physical exercise maybe utilising park opposite.

Got a lot out of treatment-well received.

I feel I have been able to make good choices with the help of Mandy.

I feel now I can look after myself and my baby much better and I know Mandy will always be there if I get rocky

I have found that, considering Covid-19 situation and the current situation, moving forward is new and challenging in unexpected and different ways. Tina has been supportive and very patient, listening to my issues without judgement.

Also encouraging… and talked me through my frustrations with other health professionals.

I have appreciated the support and encouragement, this program has really helped me to sort out some of my problems and get ahead in life to where I want to be and enjoying life with my family.

I found the program a lot better than I expected. During the program I have learnt a lot about myself and better ways to help with anxiety and depression.

Also learning about addiction has helped me understand more about why it is so hard for me to stop.

I found all the staff very helpful, thoughtful, caring and kind and respectful.

Thank you

I’d prefer to see in person.

Kim has been helpful.

First just want to say that the CORE program is absolute GOLD and deserves more funding to expand to more people in need. It has been life changing for me. I have received more help in the lead up and as a result of the program than over a year in a residential facility. The comment that I cautiously want to make is that sometimes in pushing an agenda it can go too far for a participant to cope with and that worries me. I have trust that there is a system of analysis here to reflect on the therapeutic value and skill involved in the process. That being said I have high regard for the therapists’ commitment and passion. I would love it if can continue ongoing support and I think cups of tea/coffee should be allowed!!! Lots of love. KAREN

During my time participating in the Core program I found it a challenge, looking back I can see my fear and reluctance to be open hindered my experience to get as much out of it as I possibly could. I believe the facilitators were hard but fair and extremely empathetic towards me.

I feel extremely grateful to have been able to participate in this program especially as it was the first Core program delivered in an online forum, it was a learning curve for all included and it was presented wonderfully.

n/a

What a great program. I have found it beneficial. This is not a criticism however the last day of group in the last hour, was a push to finish. I think an extra day should be added for such times this may occur. Why are we not using this Friday to wrap, that would have freed Thursday up for such times? Thank you

I cannot adequately describe with words my gratitude for being accepted, participating and completing the CORE program. It is actually with great sadness that I will not start my days with this wonderful space and healing. It has however set me up to create my own structure and routine as well as introducing me to the language of healing and recovery for which I am eternally grateful.

It has also introduced me to the tools which I can use on a daily basis to manage the day to day challenges of life as well as some invaluable tools to mitigate relapse should prophylaxis fail.

I would love to have another couple of weeks with which to further crystallise the theory however all great things must come to an end, in this case to make space for my own version of the course and putting it into practice.

None of this should take away from my gratitude to both the existence of the program and the facilitators whom I believe are doing some of the most important angel like work both professionally as well as their transparency and vulnerability which I believe helped all of us by their beautiful, personal yet professional example.

In addition I cannot speak to strongly with regard to the VALUE of the program, especially in the zoom format. I believe this format allowed people to approach each session from the safety of their own homes which in the case of addiction is possibly an invaluable consideration. Also allowing people in isolated situations with possibly limited travel resources to attend that which cannot be described any other way than LIFE SAVING

Thank you again for everything

Working with Amanda Hewitt as a lived experience counsellor has been one of the best experiences I have had in support of the treatment of complex trauma and complex physical health issues.

The only way I think I could get more out of the service would be to have more contact time with Amanda and have more education programs about complex trauma, how to heal and live with complex trauma.

Thanks for all the help that was given.

I would recommend monthly check in meetings for Aftercare post-graduation.

Amanda is a lovely woman, very supportive with a lot of experience.

The Buttery has absolutely created times when I’m in my crisis to support me, encourage me, and connect with support weekly. Their experience, real-life experience has encouraged me: there is hope. I connect really easily with people who have real life experience. I very much trust the counsellors. I love The Buttery. I am very grateful.

Continuous pathways of care

The Buttery’s continuous pathways of care

Local man's generosity

Generous bequest helps youth at risk

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