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Volunteers join CAMH for the "Rise Up" Adventure Program

On August 26th 14 volunteers from TD Canada Trust joined CAMH clients and staff in the “Rise Up” Adventure Program.
Facilitated by Archway Recreation Therapist Joan Loughran and Occupational Therapist Erica Baxter, the Adventure Based Program helps clients to re-discover a strong, positive sense of self while promoting effective skills in communication and decision making. It also provides a stimulating and safe environment to learn life skills and promotes self esteem and confidence by going beyond ones perceived limitations. In the afternoon, clients, staff and TD volunteers were presented with a series of graduated challenges. These activities encouraged members to work together to solve problems and engage in areas of social development like teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, leadership trust and camaraderie. After the challenges each group underwent a debriefing exercise that gave everyone the opportunity to reflect on how the program helped and how to take what they’ve learned and apply it to everyday life.
During the program, clients, staff and TD volunteers were presented with a series of graduated challenges.
Not only did the TD volunteers provide the gift of time, they also held a bake sale, a Heritage Day Dessert event to raise funds for the “Rise Up” Adventure program. The Adventure program takes clients camping, canoeing, horseback riding and other adventures. The donation received from TD will go directly to the program to provide more opportunities for clients.
TD volunteers operate a small tuck shop throughout the year and donate the proceeds to organizations including CAMH and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Proceeds from the tuck shop sales in August were donated to the “Rise Up” adventure program. 
One TD volunteer noted “The games were fun and effective. I like the fact that they were not physically challenging and that people of all abilities could easily participate.”
By providing innovative ice breakers and team building challenges, both clients and TD volunteers were able to learn about each other through active participation in exercises that were designed to have positive outcomes for all involved.  Many of the exercises encouraged participants to engage each other in conversation which allowed individuals to find what they had in common with each others.  Each exercise assisted in breaking down stigma and provided TD volunteers an opportunity to experience new and innovative programs being offered within the Schizophrenia program at CAMH. 
Thank you TD volunteers for taking time out of your busy lives to raise money for the “Rise Up” Adventure program.
Joan Loughran
Recreation Therapist
If you would like more info on the “Rise Up” Adventure Therapy Program please contact Joan Loughran x 7551 or Erica Baxter x 7562.
For more info on the CAMH Corporate Volunteer Program please contact Jim Davey x 6238
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