Recreation therapy (“RT”, also known as therapeutic recreation) is a strategy for “helping people with potentially limiting conditions to make the most of their lives – physically, mentally, and socially.” Evidence-based reporting confirms the benefits of exercise and stress reduction techniques to patients’ overall mental health and well-being.
At New Horizons Crisis Stabilization House, our RT program is custom designed to meet individual needs. Our recreation therapist assesses a client’s abilities, interests, needs and desires; sets both short-term and long-term goals based on assessment findings; designs a plan; and evaluates progress through various evaluation tools. Activities include (sample list):
- Dance exercise/workouts (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK7SH8UgaVw)
- Group outings such as going to:
- The movies (example – “Remember the Titans” – https://www.imdb.com/video/vi846268185?playlistId=tt0210945&ref_=tt_pr_ov_vi
- The Milwaukee County Domes – https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/Parks/Explore/The-Domes
- The Milwaukee County Zoo – http://www.milwaukeezoo.org/
- Boerner Botanical Gardens – https://boernerbotanicalgardens.org/
- Milwaukee Public Museum – http://www.mpm.edu/
- The YMCA – https://www.ymcamke.org/
- Restaurant, such as for pizza or an African-American owned restaurant (https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2020/05/15/add-black-owned-restaurants-to-your-takeout-list/)
Feelings of loss – a loss of control over their lives and their actions – are common to people battling their way back from a mental health crisis. The crisis may have distanced them from friends and family. They may feel a loss of self-esteem and confidence. Assisting clients to regain their emotional footing and to integrate into supportive networks is a very important component of RT.
The therapeutic recreation program offered by New Horizons CSH is an important component of quality client care. It recognizes the individuality of each client and empowers them to become actively involved in their recovery by introducing them to many tools that can help them help themselves.
[Source – Adapted from Recreation Therapy and Mental Health: Helping people help themselves – HOSPITAL NEWS [Canada’s Healthcare News and Best Practices] – accessed 3.24.2021 from https://hospitalnews.com/recreation-therapy-and-mental-health-helping-people-help-themselves/]