During the Spring 2016 school semester, two Recreation Therapy Interns worked with The Temple University Collaborative to develop and facilitate programming aimed at increasing community participation for consumers of local mental health agencies. Each intern developed an 8-week protocol with a focus on encouraging participation in community-based recreation. Interns were encouraged to create group sessions that would work either as stand-alone sessions or as 8 consecutive weekly sessions. This project was done under the supervision of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) at the Collaborative and staff at the sites where the sessions were delivered.
Developed by our Recreation Therapy intern and facilitated at two Community-Integrated Recovery Centers (CIRC), this 8-week series encourages participants to increase physical activity levels. Sessions incorporated music, dance and movement activities along with discussions about the benefits of physical activity and strategies to use the community to be more physically active; one program served consumers with mental health diagnoses and the second served consumers with mental health diagnoses and histories of addiction. Most participants attended the entirety of the weekly sessions. In the final session, participants were quizzed on what they had learned. Participants reported attending community activities they learned about during the group sessions and identified the value of physical activity.