We thought we knew Robin Williams.
After all, we have been watching him portray some of our favourite characters for more than 40 years. When he wasn’t on screen in movies or TV shows, we could frequently see him sitting down with talk show hosts like Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Jay Leno where he would take us inside his life as actor and a person, while always making us laugh in the process.
Recently I have encountered several clinical situations in which unit rules compromised the recovery practices of clinicians and ultimately the care of service users. The intent of this blog is to pose some ideas to you related to recovery and rules, with the hope to inspire you to reflect on your own experiences as a service user, healthcare provider and/or someone who is directly or indirectly impacted by mental health care services. I often have discussions with various colleagues locally and internationally in which we share our experiences and observations of clinicians who struggle on a daily basis to balance these so called ‘rules’ with recovery practices. It has been recognized that continuing to advance recovery-oriented mental health care requires a paradigm shift not just at the practitioner level but also at the organizational level which includes challenging and questioning commonly accepted, written or unwritten unit rules.
During the last several months, our blog posts have focused in general terms on various aspects and benefits of volunteerism at Ontario Shores, such as reducing stigma and building partnerships to aid in recovery. You may wonder what motivates a volunteer to come forward and give freely of their time and talents. Every week, many volunteers participate in a variety of patient programs throughout the hospital. Over the next several months, you will have the opportunity to learn about these programs more intimately from a volunteer perspective. I hope that you will enjoy the inaugural “volunteer” blog submitted by volunteer Danielle McClorey. Danielle is registered in our summer student volunteer program and she is already making a difference at Ontario Shores.