March 21, 2016 - Whether it’s playing a round of badminton or working on typing skills, CAMH’s ENCORE team is meeting the unique treatment needs of clients like Paul Todorov, who has been part of the program’s workshops for over a year.
ENCORE, which stands for Engaging Consumers in Opportunities for Recovery Education, provides clients with workshops that are informed by their particular interests.
“All of the exercise I’ve been getting helps keep my weight under control; it keeps me healthy,” he said. “I take part in beach volleyball, basketball, running on the treadmill and badminton.” Paul also gave special mention to the Sports Challenges put on by Volunteer Resources.
Paul spends some time on the elliptical machine at one of CAMH’s exercise facilities.
Paul says that the activity-focused style of this CAMH programming has afforded him with many opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people.
“I’ve also really enjoyed the computer group,” Paul added. “We learn the basic skills of how to operate a computer, which is something I hadn’t previously known much about.” Paul joked that he’s still a ‘two-finger typist,’ but he’s getting better.
Overall, it’s been a really good thing for me,” Paul said.
Paul works with Aliza Ladak, Occupational Therapist with ENCORE, during a computer group session
“Client-focused programming is what ENCORE is all about,” said Shannon Knutson, CAMH Recreation Therapist with ENCORE. “You can really see the positive impact it has on a client’s recovery journey.”
With as many as 150 clients enrolled in any given semester – a number that is steadily one the rise – ENCORE has effectively begun to build client-focused programming across CAMH.
Shannon and Paul
Bridging gaps though client-focused programming
CAMH Client Experience Surveys had indicated that clients wanted more meaningful activity during evenings and weekends; ENCORE addresses that feedback, and much more.
“ENCORE workshops provide an opportunity for clients to integrate with the CAMH community and interact with staff and clients away from the unit,” Shannon added. “We are bridging the gaps between forensics and non-forensic units for the first time; it’s an exciting and unique time. We’ve also branched out to our College Street clients, bringing workshops to units there.”
Last October, staff and clients from ENCORE put some of the program’s initiatives on display at an open house event. From healthy eating and regular exercise to skill building and career development, it was made evident that there really is something for everyone.
The positive impact of ENCORE programming is undeniable, and with every additional client taking part each semester, the reach of this only stretches farther.