In the past year, TRO has been involved in many meetings and presentations related to advocating on behalf of our profession. The question is, does it promote change? I think in terms of Behavioural Support Ontario (BSO), we have made a difference. In the past 6 months, two presentations have been made to BSO. In November 2017, both myself and Anne Scanlon (TRO member and Recreation Therapist (RT) on a BSO team) made a presentation to the provincial BSO Operations Committee. Our presentation objectives were:
- Describe Therapeutic Recreation Ontario and the role of a Recreation Therapist
- Identify how TR can support the BSO Mandate in Long-Term Care (LTC) and the community
- Demonstrate the Benefits and Value of including Recreation Therapy in BSO
At that time, there were a very few regional BSO teams that included Recreation Therapists.
In April 2018, I made a presentation locally to the Northeast BSO Knowledge and Capacity Advisory Committee, utilizing the same objectives as above. There were 18 sites logged on to the presentation including over 40 people. There were some Recreation Therapists on the call and all were very excited to hear more about TR and our organization.
(Northeast BSO Knowledge and Capacity Advisory Committee)
Our Northeast Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) announced in April 2018, the hiring of a number of Recreation Therapists across the Northeast through increased BSO funding. Please click on link and select the April 6 "North East LHIN Supports Expanded Access to Behavioural Supports Ontario Services" for further details: http://www.nelhin.on.ca/newsandevents/mediareleases.aspx
So, does advocating pay off? I would suggest that it certainly helps. We weren’t the only reason the northeast did this hiring, but we certainly alerted them to the value and idea.
Let me know what you think. Are you advocating in your area? What changes have occurred due to your advocacy?