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Promising Practices for Making Recreation Programming Matter for People who Experience Mental Illness


There is merit in understanding how recreation-oriented programs for adults living with mental illness address barriers to participation and how programming is structured to create safe and inclusive environments, resulting in programming that amplifies the benefits of recreation for mental well-being. Following an environmental scan of programs targeting adults living with mental illness in Canada, ten coordinators in community mental health settings were interviewed. Four themes were constructed to reflect characteristics deemed to be ‘promising practices’ related to recreation-oriented programming: (a) barriers and solutions to individual participation, (b) characteristics of welcoming and supportive environments, (c) leadership characteristics, and (d) program characteristics.

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Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Catalyst Grant (2012-8889)

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Correspondence to Susan L. Hutchinson.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Hutchinson, S.L., Fenton, L. Promising Practices for Making Recreation Programming Matter for People who Experience Mental Illness. Community Ment Health J 54, 496–505 (2018).

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  • Mental illness
  • Programming
  • Promising practices
  • Recovery
  • Recreation
  • Social inclusion