Recreation Therapist

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What Is Your job Title?

Recreation Therapist

What Does a Recreation Therapist Do?

Recreation Therapists work in a variety of settings including acute care psychiatry (both adolescents and adults), mental health, acute care pediatrics, continuing care for older adults, youth and adult addictions, physical rehab, and the Acquired Brain Injury program.

Recreation Therapy utilizes leisure as a way to restore, maintain, and improve an individuals physical, social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. Focus is on the individual’s strengths and needs, with the goal of assisting these individuals to function independently in leisure. Therapeutic Recreation services are provided through functional interventions, leisure education, and participation opportunities.

What Training Is Necessary to Do Your Work?

Two year diploma or four-year degree in Therapeutic Recreation.

Where Do You Work?

I work in a hospital in an acute care setting.

Who Needs Your Services and Why?

I provide service to people with mental health issues. We can help them learn positive ways to manage/cope with symptoms of mental illness. We provide a safe and supportive environment for them to practice these learned skills. We provide opportunities to try new things and interact with others who may be experiencing similar difficulties. We also teach our clients how to provide structure to their day when they cannot return back to work because of their illness.

What Is Your Favourite Part of Your Job?

Working with people with mental illness. They are some of the most courageous, patient, caring, funny, intelligent, determined, creative and talented people I have ever met!

What Challenges Do You Have in Your Job?

My caseload is very large, and staffing levels are not high enough. We are not replaced when we are on a leave of absence, so there is no one to do the work when we are not there.

What Are the Consequences When There Are Not Enough People with Your Training to Provide Service?

When vacancies don’t get filled, it adds to the workload of others, or if the position is eliminated all together, there is no service provided at all.