Regardless of age, gender or race, regular involvement in meaningful activity is good for ones’ state of mind and well being. This statement rings especially true for individuals who are learning to cope with a mental illness and was the vision behind the patient drop-in centres at Regional Mental Health Care.
At RMHC, patient rehabilitation is based on a recovery oriented philosophy of care. The overarching goal of the recovery philosophy is grounded in a treatment and rehabilitation care plan. Each individual plan assists patients in their personal journey beyond the limitations of illness, helping individuals who have mental health disorders live healthy, satisfying and productive lives in their communities.
Encouraging social interaction and activity is one such way to help an individual cope with the stresses of daily life, create friendships and increase self esteem. In addition, engagement in meaningful activities, of interest to each individual patient, is an important part of the recovery process.
Building on social activities already in place by Patients’ Council, the drop-in centre will create additional opportunities for patients to learn and practice social and life skills, foster relationships and encourage autonomy.
“We wanted to create a space that would promote social, physical and spiritual well being for patients,” says Laurel Lamarre, Liaison of RMHC’s Family Resource Centre. “The drop-in centres will help to support individual recovery by offering meaningful activities and an opportunity to interact with peers in a fun, safe and welcoming environment.”
The first of the two centres opened at RMHC London in May, made possible through funding provided by St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation. The funding allowed for the purchase of supplies and a refresh of the existing space where the centre is located. New furniture helped to create a cozy and inviting environment, while professionally designed murals, portraying messages of hope and healing, hand painted on large wooden canvases, have enriched the space. The murals will be easily transferrable to the new mental health facility when it opens in 2014.
The centre is supervised by volunteers along with members of the Patients’ Council and is open every Monday evening from 6 to 7:30 pm. “Once we have additional volunteer staff our goal will be to increase the number of hours the centre is available for patient use,” says Dale Jardine, Coordinator, Volunteer Services. “We are always looking for great volunteers who are interested in getting involved at RMHC in opportunities such as this.”
The patient drop-in centre at RMHC St. Thomas is scheduled to open later this year.
Local artist Jen Romnes hand paints murals with messages of faith, hope and healing for the new patient drop-in centre at RMHC London.