To many people, Recreational Therapy may seem like a simple term used to describe playing games. At Kingwood Pines Hospital and many other hospitals helping individuals recovering from mental health and substance abuse issues, recreational therapy is a vital way for those patients to learn important skills to help in their recovery.
“Mental health and chemical dependency problems can steal the ability to have fun,” said Recreational Therapist Adam Clay. “By learning how to structure free time with activities, hobbies, and interests, they are less likely to go back to negative habits.”
Recreational Therapy activities for all ages can increase focus and self-confidence, teach team-building and sharing, and promote ways to compete in a safe environment. Examples of Recreational therapy include bracelet-making for children (sharing and focusing); dodgeball for adolescents (competing and reducing aggression in a safe environment); and playing games such as Family Feud for adults (teaches team-building and problem-solving). Even patients with psychosis can benefit from Recreational Therapy by doing activities like coloring, which helps take their focus away from psychotic symptoms.
The team of Recreational Therapists at Kingwood Pines includes Adam Clay, RT; Suzie Kegley, CTRS; and Jeremiah Jackson, CTRS. This highly-energetic and caring team spends time with patients at Kingwood Pines every day, providing different Recreational Activities and getting to know the patients’ individual needs. They say that many patients also look forward to Recreational Therapy because it provides a structured activity, and that structure is missing in many patients’ lives. The team also says that many people need help adapting their favorite activity to meet their needs.
“If someone likes playing ping-pong but doesn’t have a table at home, we might see if there is a community center near their home so they can continue when they return home,” Clay said. “Or if they need help adapting a way to play volleyball – for instance by letting the ball bounce before hitting it, then we can help them think of ways to adapt.”
Kingwood Pines Hospital serves the crisis mental health needs of people ages 5 and up and substance abuse needs of ages 18 and up. If you or someone you know is having a mental health or substance abuse crisis—please seek help immediately. You can call Kingwood Pines Hospital 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 281-404-1001, and we provide no-cost assessments at our facility. More information about Kingwood Pines Hospital, as well as a virtual tour, can be found at www.kingwoodpines.com .