Latest News

Improving recovery and rehabilitation for patients with mental illness

Exciting recent projects showcased at 18th Annual Mental Health Research & Innovation Half Day 

Attendees participating in a labyrinth walk.

Attendees at the Mental Health Research & Innovation Half Day had the opportunity to participate in a labyrinth walk in one of the event workshops.

St. Joseph’s: Parkwood Institute - 

Over 130 hospital-based clinical, administrative and research staff members, persons with lived experience of mental illness, family caregivers, peer and community supporters, and staff from local community mental health agencies attended the 18th Annual Mental Health Research & Innovation Half Day on November 1, 2017. The event provided an opportunity to learn more about mental health research at Parkwood Institute and the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care (Southwest Centre), part of the St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) family.

“This year’s Mental Health Research and Innovation Half Day was one of the best attended in our history of hosting the event. We had a very diverse and engaged audience with great energy and a lot of enthusiasm,” says Dr. Arlene MacDougall, Director of Research and Innovation for mental health care at St. Joseph’s and Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson). 

Exciting recent projects were showcased though talks highlighting excellence in recovery and rehabilitation research, the theme of this year’s event; poster presentations; the 13th Annual Tony Cerenzia Research Lecture delivered by Dr. Sean Kidd; and interactive workshop sessions.

“We chose ‘recovery and rehabilitation’ as the theme for the event because it is so important in our clinical care and research programs to have this focus. We need to prioritize the development, implementation and evaluation of practices and interventions that foster recovery of the whole person experiencing mental illness, which includes their psychological, social and other needs that go beyond traditional notions of healthcare,” Dr. MacDougall adds.

13th Annual Tony Cerenzia Research Lecture

Guest speaker Dr. Kidd’s talk – “From clinical trials to the clinic: A story about making Cognitive Adaptation Training for schizophrenia more accessible” – focused on how to implement interventions proven in clinical trials. Dr. Kidd is a clinical psychologist, senior scientist and psychology division chief at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. 

Above: Dr. Sean Kidd’s lecture focused on implementing interventions proven in clinical trials.

Workshop Sessions

Following Dr. Kidd’s lecture, attendees had the opportunity to participate in one of six workshops on a variety of topics related to recovery and rehabilitation focused mental health research:

“Implementing Interventions: A facilitated conversation attending to evidence, strategy, and recovery oriented care”

Led by Dr. Sean Kidd

Participants shared successful strategies for implementing novel approaches to care and discussed the challenges involved. They also looked at ways to leverage technology and education materials. 

“Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Practically Supporting Recovery and Wellness”

Led by Stephen Yeo, Lawson allied scientist and chaplain, Southwest Centre; and Dr. Clark Heard and Jared Scott, Lawson associate scientists and occupational therapists, Southwest Centre

This workshop focused on the practical application of spirituality within the clinical setting, including the use of labyrinths, which contribute to recovery by promoting spiritual self-care, insight development and personal meaning-making reflection.  Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a labyrinth walk and a related spiritual reflection. Read more about the labyrinths at Parkwood Institute and the Southwest Centre or watch the following video featuring highlights from the workshop:


“Indigenous Men’s Health and Wellbeing: Connection with Culture as a Rehabilitation and Recovery Tool”

Led by Bill Hill, social worker, Parkwood Institute and Dr. Vicki Smye, associate professor, director of nursing at Western University

Through the sharing of practitioner experience and Indigenous men’s voices, the workshop focused on understanding the powerful links between connection to culture and mental health and well-being (pictured below)

“Engaging Service Users and their Families in Research”

Led by Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, The Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery, Lawson; and Deborrah Sherman, executive director, Ontario Peer Development Initiative

Participants in this workshop discussed the benefits of patient and family involvement in mental health research and identified strategies to support patient and family engagement (pictured below)

“Innovation in Mental Health Care: Moving Ideas to Impact”

Led by Kaitlin Saxton, research and innovation facilitator, Parkwood Institute; and Lisa Bitcola, centre manager of projects and operations, Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation

This workshop focused on how innovation relates to research and quality improvement initiatives within St. Joseph’s Mental Health Care facilities. Participants discussed innovative approaches that could be implemented within their own clinical practice, research and quality improvement initiatives (pictured below).

“My Professional Practice: Where’s the Research?”

Led by Amanda Thibeault, director, professional practice, St. Joseph’s

In this session, participants discussed how they can incorporate research into their clinical practice (pictured below).

Filed under: