Helping hoarders clear out their anxieties

Up to five per cent of the Brisbane population are thought to be hoarders (The Catholic Leader)

Centacare Brisbane is pioneering a support group aimed at changing hoarding behaviour disorders. Source: The Catholic Leader.

By Mark Bowling, The Catholic Leader

In Brisbane, the number of hoarders is estimated at 45,000 people – up to five per cent of the population.

“It is real. It’s not because someone is dirty and lazy, it’s a condition not a choice,” Stevie-Lee Conroy, Centacare Brisbane’s service delivery manager for hoarding and squalor, said.

“Hoarding is an obsessive need to acquire and keep things and can be triggered by loss, poverty, psychiatric illnesses and physical disorders.”

Centacare has a small team dedicated to helping hoarders. They offer a specialist cleaning service, and are pioneering a support group workshop aimed at changing hoarding behaviour disorders.

The most vulnerable groups affected by severe domestic hoarding are children and elderly people, and in the last 12 months Centacare received hundreds of referrals from relatives or agencies.

Recently Centacare received about $33,000 from the Queensland government’s Dignity First Funding grant to conduct a 20-session course structured workshop designed specifically to help hoarders see that they have a problem, and then equip them with the tools and support they need to stop accumulating.


Hoarding – when a room full of clutter turns into an unhealthy condition (The Catholic Leader

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