• What a Mother Thinks (Tanya) +

    Client learnt to accept her diagnosis.

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  • A Family Member’s View (Washington) +

    Client was diagnosed with negative schizophrenia and marijuana addiction..

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  • How Papillon contribute to my healing…. +

    Papillon provided a safe space for me to heal. Safe in that here were people who recognised my symptoms, understood them, did not judge me. Yet, they wanted to help me start the process of healing:to see and accept the reality of my illness, attempt to get me on the right medication, build up self-esteem, find the courage to look within and remember what my purpose and loves in life actually are. Removing me from my home environment was essential to my healing. My family were no longer aiding my recovery, even though they were doing the best they knew;my manic presence was exhausting them to say the least.The food provided was nutritious and of sufficient variety. Again this was crucial to my recovery as I either under ate or over ate during my mania, further harming my body.Papillon reintroduced daily structure into my life, starting with a daily schedule each morning.We were given the opportunity to engage in simple artistic activities and colour and music therapy activities, none of which required much intellectual thought, but rather fine motor skills (art classes), or gross motor skills(yoga, bio dancing and adventure therapy);thus engaging in simple concentration which all aided a letting go of obsessive thoughts, which marked my bipolar illness. The drumming therapy allowed me to express myself, free of words and to feel part of a community, something I was severely deprived of prior to coming into Papillon.The equine therapy received was something I never experienced before. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the horses. Tears would flow freely….As my six months drew to an end, the team of therapists provided me with more individual focus on my reintegration back to the working world. It was a facilitated effort, always putting the decisions back into my court.Being in contact with other sufferers who had also experienced manic attacks was pivotal in my recovery at Papillon. Sharing experiences outside therapy sessions helped me accept the commonality of the illness. It was a relief to know that others have had mad thoughts like myself…… most bipolar people do. Papillon broke my isolation that this illness had exposed me to.I felt like I became part of a small family again and, over the months, a trust and kingship developed amongst the clients and therapists. I felt safe again.By: Jenny Jackson
  • A letter from parents to the Papillon team +

    Dear Team, 'Just as the caterpillar thought it was over, it grew wings and became a butterfly' - its name is Papillon. This portrays our daughter, Jessica's, journey precisely. I stumbled upon Papillon’s website and it seemed an answer to prayer. Yolande listened attentively to our dilemma and, for the first time, in a very caring and compassionate way, explained to us what was happening to our daughter and assured us that Papillon would be able to accommodate and help her with her recovery. Jessica arrived at Papillon on the 14th November 2015.  She was very fragile... her childhood wings were broken and her brain had simply shutdown.  Papillon proved true to their word. After a month Jessica became well enough to partake in Papillon’s various therapies and day by day Jessica's mind grew stronger. With the support and encouragement from the therapists, social worker and Papillon staff, Jessica's determination and self-esteem strengthened every day. With very relieved and happy hearts we saw her wings starting to grow back.  After completing the six month program and reaching Level 5, Jessica was ready to take the final step to recovery by returning home. It was a joyous moment in our lives... our beautiful butterfly was back home.  Papillon will always be Jessica's second home. She returns from time to time to touch base and attend therapy sessions if she feels inclined to. Should those bumps in the road be a little too large for her to handle, she can rest assured that Papillon will be there with open doors to help her forward.  Although each person’s journey through mental illness differs, there is a common denominator that assists in recovery; that is a compassionate, understanding, encouraging and supportive body. Papillon is all that... a place of rebirth.  We would like to thank Yolande, Brighton, their amazing team of staff and therapists for standing by Jessica while she grew to believe in herself once again.  Warm Regards Lorna and Cobus Cilliers
  • Vicky's story +

    I was admitted to Papillon last October as a dual diagnosed patient. I suffer from bipolar mood disorder and was at the time addicted to over-the-counter medication. Before going into Papillon I felt that my life had lost all meaning and beauty: I had lost my job; my family relationships were in ruins; I felt as though I had nowhere to turn; and I was suicidal.
    I had previously been to a drug rehab centre that did not assist me as it was a ‘one size fits all’ program. Shortly after getting out of rehab, I took an overdose. It was then that my mother called Yolande and booked me a spot at Papillon. At the time I was too psychotic to realise I needed the help and fought against it. Despite my negative and difficult attitude Papillon took me in and - with the support of the professionals and the clients - within a matter of weeks I was feeling like a new person. What makes Papillon different to other treatment centres is that even with so many clients to look after, they adapt the program to each individual’s needs. Their goal is to treat the client and to help them fully reintegrate themselves back into society as functioning individuals. They take a holistic approach helping their clients focus on their family relationships, assisting them with controlling and packing their own medications, and learning how to manage their illness. In the three months I was at Papillon, I regained my life - even more so than I had before I used drugs. I am now in a job I love and have amazing relationships with my family, all thanks to the tremendous work of the professional team at Papillon. The team at Papillon have lived first hand through the trials of mental illness and drug abuse, and show a great deal of compassion and care. No matter how difficult I was they still kept helping me.
    I owe my life to them, and would recommend Papillon to anyone in need of psychiatric help.
  • Danni's story +

    My life was nothing but disaster before I came to Papillon. I was not a functional human being. I was crippled emotionally and mentally. When I entered Papillon, I felt nothing but relief. They accepted me for who I was and helped me reach the goal of being a healthy and functional human being. I was able to express myself without judgement. I was able to see a difference in my thought pattern and toxic behaviors. The staff are unbelievably helpful, supportive, and taught me many different aspects of creating a healthy lifestyle. When I completed treatment I finally felt alive. My entire outlook on life changed, and so did I. Without the treatment I received I have no clue where I'd be. I owe my life to Papillon and I am so grateful that I was able to have this life changing experience.
  • "MIA-LILY" The girl who chose her life +

    The experience of having had 20 odd years of severe abuse and dysfunction within my childhood and young adult life left me with little real understanding of the world we inhabit and a very poor reserve of healthy coping skills. It did leave me with a spectrum of scars and issues now commonly know as mental illnesses. (The depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder ruled my life. Lack of trust, co-dependency tendencies, the list could go on)

    Through these experiences and what I was taught about myself, I have always limped along mentally and emotionally in life, blundering from one experience to the next. In 2015 I finally hit a wall, my wall, THE WALL. All the things I had employed previously, all that I’d learnt and tried still wasn’t yielding results. I was at my end, prepared to take my life through desperation, desperation to put to rest the pain and struggle I kept on facing

    I turned to isolation, almost 3 solid years of agoraphobia, wilting and dying with the distortions in my head. The depression, post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder ruled my life.

    At a crucial turning point, literally live or die, a true friend stepped in and offered me a lifeline I so desperately needed at the time, they had come across a place called Papillon. I did my own research about the centre and soon made contact with Yolande. I flew in from Durban within the week and checked in.

    The experience challenged me in every single way, in addition to already being stressed, I felt resentment and fear, here a system, a house full of strangers. Little did I realise at first this would be my new home for a few good months. It took me a good while to settle in, but in seeing others enter, this is a natural experience, everyone longs for the return to their comfort zone. It is a shake up and a wake up, being pulled from your self-created world. Papillon is a microcosm of the world out there. You become a family with those who inhabit the program and house with you. The program is holistic, informative, challenging, stimulating. The program is invaluable, it’s there for your use and what you do with it yourself adds to and has the potential to alter your life in astoundingly positive ways.

    This entry into Papillon started out as a hated and distrusted experience, and yet steadily, day by day, I grew to trust the staff, I grew to proactively working the program, realizing the tremendously valuable opportunity I had been gifted with, knowing that as uncomfortable as it made me at times, I knew this was the way to grow and change. I ended up doing a full 6 month program with them – initially the thought 3 months was far too much, I just wanted out and away as soon as possible, but with the trust and realization of the wealth of the programme, for me personally I came to realise 6 months was still a drop in the ocean of my life and I committed to this time, hoping to bring lasting positive changes. To say it is invaluable doesn’t half begin to describe the lifeline I was GIFTED with, the family I started to bond with, the care, the rehabilitation and healing it brought to my life.

    Upon my completion and exit of the programme. I chose to live within a short distance of Papillon for the continued support, as I have no remaining family.
    The support continues, I am always welcomed back, the staff warm and genuine, the acknowledgement that yes I still face my tough days and experience my challenges. To this day, I know if I need them, they are still there for me. They are people, people, a family, my family, I can rely on and have come to trust. I admire and respect them for the lifeline they give to those who are in need, for what they have given me and continue to do so when I am in that space for a kind word, a refresher of a lesson, even some days, just a smile and a joke, or they listen and reassure me. I often stop by just to sit in the space and work, I don't need to say much, greet staff and those experiencing the program, carry on with my work, there is a peace I feel, this safe home I know, will always be there for me.

    I am forever grateful for having had this opportunity and the warmth and support that still remains.

  • 1


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