Frequently Asked Questions

How long will you stay at Ashburn Clinic? Is there a waiting list? Learn more below.

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Admission to Ashburn Clinic

This is a difficult question to answer in a broad sense, as admission is determined on a case by case basis and may vary according to your funding. But generally speaking, you need to be at least 17 years of age or older, and been referred to us by a health professional – even your GP is able to refer you. Most commonly, people are referred for problems with addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, life crises, PTSD, personal and relationship issues, and sexual trauma. For more information, please click here, or contact us.

All referrals for our inpatient services must come from a registered health professional. This can be a psychiatrist, therapist, DHB mental health team, or your GP. However, you can ask your health professional to refer you to Ashburn, and you can contact Ashburn directly to talk with a staff member about admission.

We do accept self-referrals for outpatient services.

There can be a wait before getting a bed at Ashburn, however this largely depends on whether or not you are being funded through a governmental agency. Both the Ministry of Health and ACC have their own processes to determine eligibility for funding which may include a waiting list. There is usually not a waiting list for private-paying patients.

This depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the mental health problems you have and the type of treatment you are wanting (eg. if you’re admitted to the Addiction Programme this has a fixed length of 10 weeks). Or, you may decide to have treatment in the main therapeutic programme for a longer period of several months. This is something that will be discussed with you prior to admission, and then reviewed during your stay with us. 4-6 weeks is generally the minimum amount of time it takes to assess you, your needs and your suitability to the Ashburn programme.

Cost varies depending on the programme you take on while you’re here, and whether or not you stay on-site as an inpatient. Check our Treatment & Fees page for an indicative guide of costs.

Patients come to Ashburn as either private-paying individuals, or through the public health system which is funded mainly by the Ministry of Health or ACC. If you want to find out about eligibility for funding it would be worth talking to your DHB clinical team or ACC case manager.

Often people do continue to receive their benefit, however you will need to discuss the details with your Work and Income NZ case worker.

There is 24-hour nursing support in our main inpatient units. In Alexander House, our independent living facility, patients are supported to increase their capability for self-management as they prepare for discharge, thus there is no dedicated nurse in the House.


Yes, you will. Bedrooms are best described as “single rooms”, and each has a single or king single bed, bedside table, small desk, and a cupboard for your clothes. Please feel free to bring your own bedding and personal items to make your room feel like home.

Our bathrooms are shared, and unisex, so you will be sharing with both men and women. Some of our rooms do have en-suites, however these are generally reserved for patients with specific needs (eg. detoxing).

Patient bedrooms do not have telephones, or plugs for wired internet. There is limited WiFi available in some bedrooms, however we encourage use of internet-capable devices in the communal areas. There is also a patient telephone booth for those seeking a private space to make a call. 

Yes, we encourage you to do this so you can keep in touch with whānau. We have free WiFi for patients to use.

We supply you with towels and bedding, however if you have a favourite cover or blanket you are more than welcome to bring that with you. 

Yes! Each bedroom has a lockable draw for you to safely store your valuables in. However, we recommend you arrange contents insurance to cover your personal possessions just as you would if you were flatting.

It is helpful if you bring your prescribed medication with you, which will be discussed as part of your admission and treatment plan. Other medication such as over-the-counter medication or supplements will need to be handed in on arrival and discussed, too.

We have a gym, tennis court, trampoline and volleyball net outside, along with tracks and trails around the Ashburn site that are ideal for walking. Inside, we have a billiards table, and we’re equipped for table tennis.

Visitors, Weekends, Leave

You may be allowed to take leave, if this fits in with your treatment. Leave is discussed with the clinical team and within the appropriate groups with other patients, and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Our patients are here because they want to be here, so if you found the treatment modality wasn’t working for you then you would be free to discharge. We do, however, encourage patients to give the therapeutic community approach time to sink in – usually 1-2 months is enough to determine if the treatment model is helping you.  

Leave such as this is discussed within your patient unit first. Patients also need to fill out a log book if leaving the premises. 

Daily Life at Ashburn

Most of our patients are aged between 20-55 years. To be admitted here you need to be at least 17 years of age, and there is no upper age limit.

If possible it is helpful if you can bring a few days’ of your own medication when you first arrive. On admission, your Psychiatrist and the Ashburn GP will complete an assessment of your health and review your medications. After that, we will organise prescriptions for and administer your medication. Over time, some patients in our inpatient unit, and all those residing at Alexander House, are able to self-medicate.

Smoking and vaping is strictly prohibited inside any building at Ashburn, however there is a designated area for patients to smoke outside. Note that Ashburn is working on becoming a totally smoke-free site.

It’s patchy, due to our location. We encourage you to get a 2degrees SIM card before you arrive, as they offer the best coverage.

Good question! We have washing and drying facilities in all our inpatient units. You will need to purchase washing powders/liquids – these can be purchased from the on-site canteen. 

Ashburn provides patients with a full meal service – breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Snacks in between times are not provided, but can be purchased from the on-site canteen.

Ashburn has its own GPs that visit and hold clinics several days per week. Appointments can be made to see the GP via nursing staff.

On-site medical services (including GP) are available, however if an outside referral is needed this can be arranged by clinical staff as part of your treatment plan.

On arrival you will be given your own room in one of the inpatient units and assigned a patient buddy to help you settle in. However, the way the therapeutic community works, you’ll interact with a range of patients and staff each day, depending on whether you’re in group, doing individual therapy, going for a walk or helping with community cleaning.

Read patient descriptions of what it’s like to settle in to Ashburn.

General Questions

Ashburn Clinic is a not-for-profit charity. We help people who, for myriad reasons, struggle to live well in the world. We welcome donations to help fund the valuable work we do at Ashburn Clinic.

There could be a special reason for making a donation – you may have had a personal experience with Ashburn, or you might know someone else who has benefited from our programme of care, such as a partner, family member, friend, neighbour or work colleague.

You can help to restore someone else’s quality of life.

We do, and you can find more information on the Health Professionals page.

"It truly is hard work but it is not impossible. You just can’t give up! There will be numerous times where you’ll probably want to and you’ll feel like being here is the hardest thing on earth, but you know what? You’ve made it this far and you can make this work. You’re not alone. You’re not alone!" - A Former Patient

Ashburn Clinic is here when you need us. You've taken the first step in visiting our website for yourself or a loved one - whenever you're ready, call or email our team. We're here to help you!

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