How Recreation Therapy Benefits People With Mental Illness

How Recreation Therapy Benefits People With Mental Illness

Recreation and leisure are essential tools when it comes to fostering positive mental health. With a greater focus being placed on supporting individuals dealing with mental health challenges, there has been an increase in recreational therapy programs offered through hospitals, outpatient programs and home health care services in Mississauga.

Recreational therapy programs can be integrated into an overall treatment or support plan for mental health wellness. Recreation therapists work with a patient’s psychiatrist, social worker, or medical professionals to build the right program that can include exercise and stress reduction techniques to improve the patient’s overall mental health.

Recreational Therapy Programs

What is Therapeutic Recreation?

Therapeutic recreation purposely uses recreation and leisure to address the specific needs and goals of individuals living with disabilities. These needs may include, but are not limited to, mental health, physical rehabilitation, developing effective social skills, and community integration.

Specifically when it comes to mental health, recreational therapy programs can:

  • Help patients avoid negative choices by exploring better ways to use their time.
  • Improve social skills.
  • Foster positive experiences.
  • Regain confidence.
  • Improve mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Help develop tools to better handle social anxiety, depression, anger, and bipolar disorder.
  • Encourage patients to embrace life.

What Does A Recreational Therapy Program Look Like?

Each recreational therapy program is custom designed to meet individual needs. Before the program begins, a therapist would assess a patient’s abilities, interests, needs and desires and set both short-term and long-term goals. Once a plan has commenced, there would be an ongoing evaluation process that would document the activities as well as any measurable progress.

Recreation programs designed to support mental illness, typically include activities such as:

  • Exercise groups that focus on yoga, Pilates, or walking
  • Active games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Woodworking
  • Working in a community garden
  • Spending time with animals
  • Listening to or learning to play music

For people who are battling a mental illness, they often have the feeling that they have lost control of their lives and of their actions. Mental illness may have distanced them from friends and family, resulting in low self-esteem and little self-confidence. Recreational therapy programs can really help patients regain their emotional footing and help them make connections again.

iCare Home Health Offers Recreational Therapy At Home

iCare Home Health provides home health care services in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, and Milton. Contact us to learn more about how our therapeutic recreation at home program helps individuals focus on overcoming their mental health challenges and learn how to live life in a positive space. iCare Home Health’s trained professionals will conduct an assessment to determine the intervention needed, and then design a program that incorporates the client’s recreational interests and passions. By develop a trusting relationship with each client and encouraging them to explore new ways to be active, recreation therapy really can be a key tool in managing mental illness.


President of iCare Home Health Services, a community based, boutique home health care company dedicated to serving the needs of our customers to maintain their quality of life and dignity while they recover from illness or age at the comfort of their own home.