A Douglas College researcher has received a $135,000 grant to study the health and wellbeing of people living with mental illness in the Lower Mainland.
The grant was provided by the Vancouver Foundation, a charitable funding organization, as part of its focus on supporting communitybased health research.
Colleen Reid, a Douglas College-David Lam campus therapeutic recreation instructor, is working on the two-year research project with the non-profit Open Door Group, which provides services for people with mental-health issues.
The goals of the project are to identify how people with mentalhealth challenges experience community inclusion, health and wellbeing and then to develop indicators to evaluate the success of therapeutic recreation programs. "There is increasing pressure on community-based services to measure the effectiveness of their programs. Unfortunately, there is also a lack of good outcome indicators," said Reid, project co-lead, in a press release.
"What we hope to do is to develop indicators that better reflect the experiences of clients."
As part of the project, Open Door Group clients will use cameras to document their daily living experiences.
Peer researchers will then interview the clients about what the images mean to them.
Students in Douglas College's Bachelor in Therapeutic Recreation degree program will assist with the project by helping the clients with the photography and handling other research duties.
"This project reveals our strong relationship with the community, our wish to engage students and the enthusiasm and resourcefulness of faculty members undertaking highquality, innovative research that makes a real difference," said Brian Thomas-Peter, dean of the Faculty of Child, Family and Community Studies.
Douglas College is one of the largest colleges in British Columbia, providing bachelor's degrees, university transfer, career and postdegree programs for over 20,000 students each year.
For more information, visit douglascollege.ca.
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