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Frequently asked questions


The facility​

 Where is Coral Tree located?

​Coral Tree is on the grounds of Macquarie Hospital in North Ryde, in Greater Sydney, though is quite separate and has its own grounds, facilities, and co-located Arndell School. The actual address is 70a Badajoz Road, North Ryde NSW 2113.

 How much does it cost to access a service?

​Coral Tree is part of NSW Health, and is therefore completely free for all families, accessing any of the programs offered.

 Is the program voluntary?

​Coral Tree is an entirely voluntary service, which parents/carers choose to access to support their family. The service is also not a locked ward/unit (though we do have precautions in place to help the site feel safe for families to stay at) – you are free to come and go as you please.

 Do we have to live in Sydney to access the service?

​For our Family Residential Program, families can reside anywhere in New South Wales. With other programs, such as the Clinical School Program, families would need to live within a reasonable distance from the service so that the child can travel to and from school.

 How long is the waitlist?

​As the only service of its kind in Australia, Coral Tree can have typically have a waitlist of six to eight months for a Family Residential Stay. This time frame can vary, based on a number of factors, including how available a family can be at short-notice – if there is a cancellation that occurs suddenly, the team will contact families who have expressed a capacity to attend with minimal notice, and see if they can attend on that date.

​​Attending C​oral Tree

 Can we bring our pet to Coral Tree?

​Unfortunately Coral Tree can only house humans – we do have several local lizards that have taken up residence in and around the site

 Can we bring our child’s sensory toys?

​Yes, if your child can bring something to make the stay more comfortable, we would encourage them to do so. We have weighted blankets on site and due to infection control, are not able to have families bring their own. You are more than welcome to borrow one! 

 Are there toys/games available?

​Yes, we have a range of board games, books, DvDs, ping pong (table tennis), foosball (table soccer), Nintendo WiiU (with games including Just Dance!), Play Station 4, bikes and scooters. We also have a heated outdoor pool and an art room! You are more than welcome to bring any special games/toys with you.

 Can we bring our own food?

​Of course – whilst we supply food and there is a dinner menu to select from, families often choose to bring their own snacks or pre-prepared meals. You can store them in the mini-fridge in your flat, or else in one of the communal fridges/freezers in the kitchen (just remember to label your food!)

 Can we cook?

​There are limited cooking facilities at Coral Tree – we have microwaves, a sandwich press, a kettle and a coffee machine. There is no available oven or stove for families to use.

 Are there are any washing facilities?

​We have a washing machine and dryer at Coral Tree.

 Can we go off-site?

​Yes, whilst it is a busy week at Coral Tree, “free time” is time-tabled and families can go off-site and either wander around the grounds or head to the local shops/shopping centres

 What about school?

​All school-aged children that attend Coral Tree will need to be enrolled in the Coral Reef classroom, staffed by teachers from Arndell School. Children will spend Tuesday-Thursday at school, however, the curriculum is very different to your average school. Days at Coral Reef are filled with sport, art, craft and cooking. It is a fun and supportive atmosphere. If older children are wanting/needing to complete school work, they are welcome to do this during the day. All children will be marked as attending for the week at their regular school.

 What happens if my child is not school-age?

​If your child is under the age of 5, they will be minded by Coral Tree staff during parent sessions and groups.

 Can we have visitors to residence?

​This is a possibility during the week, however, not a certainty. We would encourage you to raise requests for visitors with your Care Coordinator, before your stay, so that it can be discussed further.​

 Can I work during the week?

​The week at Coral Tree requires parents/carers to attend all scheduled activities. During these times, we encourage parents/carers to be actively engaged, to get the most out of the program. There is scheduled free time where work could be completed, however, the children are in your care during these hours.

 Do we need to bring our medications?

​​Yes, please bring all essential medication for all family members. There is a lockable cabinet in all flats, for storage of medication (and other valuables), and parents/carers remain responsible for administering their children’s medication.

 Where do we park?

​There is free parking on hospital grounds, at all times. Staff working with your family will direct you to the most appropriate car-park.​

 Will we be the only family in residence?

​There are usually two families in residence each week, though sometimes we do only have one and can have three. ​

 Is our flat private?

Yes, staff will only enter your flat with your permission, or if they hold concern for safety of family members. However, we will always announce that we are entering the flat.​

​We are here to help you​

The team at Coral Tree are there to guide you and support you through your family's journey at Coral Tree. If you have any further questions, and have already spoken with your child and/or family's mental health clinician in the community about referring to our service, please feel free to contact us on the number below. ​ ​ 


Tree ​​