About Day Programs

At St Helen’s Private Hospital, we appreciate that management of mental health is an ongoing undertaking, and recognise that the transition from acute inpatient care to independent living can be a difficult time.

As such, we aim to provide continued support for our patients following their discharge through our day patient group programs.

The day patient group programs are designed to assist patients with the transition from inpatient to discharge, and provide support as patients face the challenges of returning to daily life.

Day patient programs focus on education and self-management, building on the skills and knowledge developed through involvement in the inpatient group program.

Other important aims of the day patient group program include:

  • assisting in the development of an improved social support network
  • helping you identify appropriate local community organisations which might be providers of useful support
  • providing education about interpersonal relationships and improving basic living skills to optimise independent living
  • raising awareness of additional resources and services you might choose to access.

Access to day programs

Your local GP, psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor will be able to assist you with obtaining a referral to our Director of Day Programs, private specialist who is accredited at the hospital and who can organise your admission or enrolment into a program.

During your stay you will be under the direct care of this private specialist who will from time to time be assisted by other private specialists and hospital staff.

What days do the programs run?

The day patient programs are held on weekdays during business hours.

If you require additional information about the day patient group streams please click on the individual programs below

Which program is suitable for me?

Currently, the day patient group program includes 12 separate streams, each designed to meet the diverse needs of our patients.

As you approach discharge, you should discuss the different group streams with your doctor and other members of your St Helen’s Health Professional Team.

The decision regarding which stream(s) you ultimately choose to attend will be based on the amount of ongoing support you feel you require, recommendations from your doctor, your experience of the inpatient group program, and your particular areas of interest.

We aim to include all members of the patient’s health care team to develop a holistic approach to overall management, and consistently monitor and evaluate the functioning of the program to ensure we are delivering a comprehensive and high quality clinical service.


Monday, two half-day programs, 09:30am – 12:45pm and 1:00pm – 4:15pm

Tuesday, evening program, 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Facilitated by a psychiatrist and a mental health nurse.

This group offers support to people dealing with addictive behaviours involving the abuse of alcohol and other drugs resulting in risks to health, relationships and the ability to work. The program is focused on the recovery process aimed at abstinence. Psychotherapy is combined with psycho-education. Sessions include individual check in time and interactive discussion sessions.

Topics include:

  • Staying positive; Coping skills
  • Replacing one addiction with another
  • Importance of self-care in recovery
  • Identifying high risk situations
  • Controlled drinking; Coping with urges
  • How to maintain realistic expectations in recovery
  • Benefits of a routine
  • Neuroplasticity and mindfulness
  • The role of self-esteem play in recovery
  • Values as a conduit to recovery


Monday, half-day and full-day program, 9:00am – 2:30pm

Facilitated by the art therapist and a mental health nurse.

This program focuses on directed and spontaneous use of art and craft materials for the purposes of health and mental well-being, and is suitable for adults of any age struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction, or adjusting to difficult life experiences. Participants learn the value of coping strategies like distraction, task-engagement, and social support. No previous musical experience or ability required.

Research demonstrates the efficacy of Art Therapy in areas including:

  • Development of healthy coping skills and focus
  • Development of interpersonal and problem-solving skills
  • Exploration of imagination and creativity
  • Emotional identification and release
  • Improvement in mood and reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Relaxation and mindfulness.


Monday, half-day and full-day program, 9:00am – 2:15pm

Facilitated by a psychologist and a qualified exercise therapist.

This program offers mind and body strategies to assist with managing depression, anxiety and day-to-day stress. Suitable for all. Previous exercise experience not required.

  • Mind: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT); Self-compassion; Thoughts and feelings – managing and processing; Mindfulness and meditation; Journaling.
  • Body: Regulating breath to reduce tension; Simple and easy, body movements to ease body aches and pains. Seated and standing stretches to aid and increase positive energy flow. Gentle Yoga flow practice. Walk in nature - weather permitting.

Activities include:

  • Individual check in
  • Movement/yoga/stretching
  • Psychology topics
  • Well-being topics
  • Relaxation/breath-work/mindfulness/meditation
  • Walk/indoor activity


Tuesday, half-day program, 9:30am – 12:45pm

Facilitated by a psychologist.

This program is a well-established treatment designed to stabilise a range of symptoms which might include emotion dysregulation, relationship difficulties, or high levels of distress. The Program aims to help individuals “build a life worth living” by learning behavioural skills and strategies to assist in decreasing their engagement in harmful behaviours and to replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviours.

Group participants are able to, interact with other group participants who share similar challenges, learn from the experiences of other participants, and, practice interpersonal skills within the safe and supportive environment of the group.

DBT skills modules include:

  • Core Mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness


Tuesday, half-day program, 09:30am – 12:45pm

Facilitated by a psychiatrist and a social worker.

This program provides a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment for the exploration of issues relevant to women and mental health. This women-only program is designed to inspire and empower women to create ongoing positive change in their lives. Focus is on effective management of emotions and interpersonal relationships, and is designed to inspire and empower women to create ongoing positive change in their lives.

Topics include:

  • Change cycles and self-empowerment
  • Clarifying personal values
  • Depression and anxiety management
  • Healthy relationships and interpersonal boundaries
  • Identifying personal strengths and resources
  • Lifestyle factors (e.g., diet, exercise, sleep, caffeine, drugs and alchol)
  • Self-awareness; Self-understanding and compassion
  • Self-esteem building
  • The role of social life and social support
  • Understanding self-esteem and the factors that impact on it


Wednesday, half-day program, 9:30am – 12:45pm

Facilitated by a social worker.

This program provides participants with strategies to assist with a variety of problem solving and lifestyle management skills. Drawing from a range of clinically accepted therapeutic models, this integrative, psycho-educational, self-help group, is designed for patients coping with depression and anxiety, or adjusting to difficult life experiences.

Topics may include:

  • Managing anxiety; managing depression
  • Guilt, shame, and worry
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Assertiveness
  • Self-care goals; self-worth and self-compassion
  • Motivation
  • Stages of change
  • Gratitude


Thursday, half-day program, 9:30am – 12:45pm

Facilitated by a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

This program is designed to provide a non-judgmental, therapeutic environment for the exploration of issues relevant to men and mental health. This male-only program combines discussion, peer-support and structured education modules to promote insight and personal growth. By examining stereotypes around masculinity and societal expectations of males, the group is designed to motivate and support men to create ongoing positive change in their lives.

Topics are participant driven, and may include:

  • Societal expectations of men and male roles
  • Relationships and attachment
  • Managing your life; problem solving
  • Behaviour change, habits and motivation
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Anxiety and mood management
  • Humour as therapeutic
  • Happiness psychology
  • Stress and memory


Friday, half-day program, 10:00am – 1:15pm

Facilitated by a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

This is an eight week program. Welcoming a new baby is a major life transition that can sometimes feel overwhelming. The St Helen’s Mother Baby Program assists women with anxiety, depression or other issues, to help manage these challenges, develop new parenting resources, and create a brighter future. Each week includes a mother-baby playgroup time and a topic from the Circle of Security Parenting Program.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Circle of Security
  • Exploring our children’s needs all around the circle
  • Being with on the circle
  • Being with infants on the circle
  • The path to security
  • Exploring our struggles
  • Rupture and repair in relationships
  • Review and reflection


Friday, half-day program, 10:30am – 1:45pm

Facilitated by a qualified music therapist.

This program involves exploring music in a range of ways including relating to mood management, relaxation, connecting to others and self-exploration within a fun, relaxed and supportive environment. May include song writing, depending on the interest of participants. No previous musical experience or ability required.

Benefits of music therapy:

  • Enhanced confidence and development of new skills
  • Improved connection to others and reduced feelings of isolation or loneliness
  • Reduction of anxiety and stress
  • Regulation of heart rate and breathing
  • Production of endorphins – makes you feel good!
  • Release of strong feelings
  • Shifts and improvements in mood
  • It’s fun!

PAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM – commencing Thursday July 22 2021

Thursday, half-day program, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, six week blocks

Facilitated by a Specialist Pain Medicine Physician and clinicians

Topics include:

  • Physiology of pain and healing
  • Multidisciplinary goal setting
  • Sleep management
  • Stress, emotions, and pain
  • Flare up management and self-compassion
  • Thoughts, emotions and pain
  • Increasing enjoyable activities
  • Change your thinking – ACT and CBT
  • Persistent pain: medication management
  • Addiction and pain
  • Forms of pain management
  • Communication and pain
  • Review of goals and values
  • Pain Management Program and beyond

Our Assistance

... ... ... ...