The CAMH Archway Outpatient Clinic at 1451 Queen Street West in Toronto has been transformed, thanks to a generous donation from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO).
The clinic, with 19 clinicians and 4 doctors who provide treatment programs for people who have schizophrenia and are living in the community, recently received a free makeover. Archway clients were consultants on the redesign project and provided their input into designing the perfect healing environment.
ARIDO received an award of excellence from Ontario's interior design community for their work redesigning this CAMH outpatient clinic.
Sharon Portelli, Registrar for ARIDO, has received emails from Archway staff expressing what a huge difference the changes to the space are making for them and their clients. "Knowing we’re playing a part in improving the lives of clients at CAMH who are engaging in Archway for support in dealing with their day-to-day struggles with schizophrenia makes us feel good about what we’re doing," she says.
Jim Davey, Coordinator of CAMH's Corporate Volunteer program, is pleased he was able to help kick-start change at Archway. "There are so many vibrant and diverse programs that happen here, and the clients I’ve met are very inspiring. I thought it would be nice to have a space that reflected that energy. I wanted to have someone come in with a critical eye like Sharon from ARIDO, keeping my fingers crossed that she would be inspired to do something," Jim says.
Archway clients like Elisabeth are pleased with the results. “It has gone from a blah area to a place where it feels a little more homey and more modern.”
Marianne did not always like visiting the Archway outpatient clinic. The yellow walls were too brilliant and overwhelming and the colours made the rooms feel very small. Now she enjoys the space more and feels Archway has a healthier atmosphere.
"It's more calming. I’m from the north. I prefer earth tones," Marianne says about the new muted colours that the group room, hallway and first floor kitchen have been painted.
Joan Loughran, Recreation Therapist at CAMH who organized the renovations on the Archway end of the project, says some clients don't actually come to programs but still need to come to Archway to meet with their psychiatrists and case managers and to pick up their medications. "Sometimes there are delays and they have to spend time here sitting and waiting. I think it’s a far more calming environment to wait in – one that’s conducive to recovery."
To view a video chronicling Archway’s transformation click on the image below.