On behalf of the CTRA Board I would like to take this time to wish all our CTRA members a Happy Therapeutic Recreation Awareness Month. We are celebrating from February 1-28, 2021. Our theme for this year is “In This Together”! As I reflect over this past year and look at our theme, I feel it is very fitting to acknowledge how much we need each other to move forward in these uncertain times. Both Professionally and Personally I have seen how much our structure, routine and connections have been challenged.
Professionally, whether you work with Older Adults, Mental Health and Addictions, Community, Rehabilitation, Youth and Adolescence, Educator and/or combinations of these mentioned areas, you’ve had your routine, your structure and your connections challenged. But what I have also seen and heard are the many positive stories of how our profession has surfaced as a breath of fresh air in the face of adversity. As I reflect on what TR/RT is as a profession, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs comes to mind. In the midst of a world pandemic some are still needing their basic needs met (food, shelter, rest, finances, security), if so please reach out to someone. However, for those able to look at the Psychological Needs (connection with others, esteem building, accomplishments) Recreation Therapy shines as a profession. This is what we do!
Personally, I have never seen a time when practicing what I preach every day is so vital to my own well-being and also for the well-being of my family, friends and patients that I come into contact with every day. In Mental Health and Addictions we use the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). One of my favorite statements from this program is “what must I do everyday to maintain my wellness!”
So, what are you going to do to maintain your wellness both professionally and personally? Check out the CTRA website and our members section for some great suggestions. Please stay connected and practice self-care. During Therapeutic Recreation month I encourage you to try something new and also reach out to someone you may not have connected with in a long time. Practice our theme, “In This Together” because it truly is our best chance to stay healthy!
Carl Ings, BRec, CTRS
CTRA President, 2019-2021