Leisure and recreation is an important aspect of living that can provide opportunities for skill development, enhanced quality of life, community and social engagement, identity development, and healthy living. Despite its inherent benefits, it is often an area that remains unaddressed in treatment. The Collaborative provides technical assistance to providers regarding the importance of recreation and leisure participation, the assessment of consumer interest in personally meaningful leisure activities, strategies to increase independent engagement in leisure, and assessing outcomes of increased participation. A range of assistance is available, from educational resources to ongoing technical support.
- Benefits of Leisure Participation: This broad training provides information about the broad benefits of leisure participation for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Categories may include how leisure can beneficially impact social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive well-being.
- Recreation to Enhance Physical Well-being: Community-based mental health centers are more and more focusing on the whole person, including the physical health and well-being of consumers. Recreation can be used to enhance participation in physical activity as well as introduce healthy eating behaviors. Because recreation and leisure interventions are built around consumer interest, these lifestyle changes are more sustainable and lead to lasting health improvements.
- Assessing Recreation and Leisure Interests: “I’m happy with the recreation I do now” or “I don’t know what else I would want to do” are often the responses providers get, even though individuals may engage in no community-based recreation. We can offer trainings on leisure assessment, education, and goal setting.
- Promoting Independent Community Participation: Often the main source of recreation participation is through agency sponsored trips or even activities housed at the agency. While providing opportunities for engagement is important, this training will challenge providers to think differently about how services are delivered and how they can be used to promote independent and sustained engagement in community-based recreation.