Our Public Service Programming Objectives Include:
- Addressing the psychosocial needs of marginalized communities with an emphasis on inter-generational issues, for example parenting/family interventions to prevent school drop out, cycles of poverty, incarceration, etc. (e.g www.cfcaa.com)
- Providing culturally-sensitive services including vocational (re)integration support
- Promoting cultural safety through service delivery partnerships
- Providing professional-level training to individuals within marginalized communities and/or cultural/linguistic communities with limited related resources through a mentorship model with an emphasis on cultural competence building.
- Advocate for social justice concerns through designated initiatives and professional and social justice affiliate networks
- Promote sustainability practices in related industries
Public Service Programs and Social Enterprise Partnership Initiatives
- Wrap around family intervention services with in-home Occupational Therapy services to support families in relation to: positive parenting/disciplinary skills; daily routine stabilization; nutrition/meal planning/preparation; budgeting; homework/tutoring support; school liaison/advocacy; parental/youth career guidance; family bonding activities; community/resource access, etc. Rapid access to integrated psychological, psychoeducational, neuropsychological and psychovocational assessment with the OTs supporting parents in reviewing assessment recommendations to special-needs school conferences and assuring school/home follow-up. Services are provided in partnership with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST), after an initial pilot a decade ago and then were brought in-house with NCFST main office location; it is now being implemented in their Galloway/Kingston Rd location (www.rtwintegratedhealth.com/services-offered/public-service-program-initiatives/). The clinical model (www.cfcaa.com/index2.html) was reviewed by Healthy Communities (social determinants of health) Subcommittee and sited as a model in Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Strategy: Creating healthy communities, Minister's Advisory Committee, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, January 2010.
- UTSC/NCFST/Native Learning Centre-East (NLC) family outreach/campus immersion: Creating a psychological barrier-free natural progression to post secondary education. Viewing UTSC as a proximal resource to the KGO community the campus and community partners are exploring/facilitating access to campus resources and activities including: TPASC membership (and rock climbing, weekend evening rec drop in (youth), paddling program); student tutors; homework/library support program; STEM program; campus career exploration opportunities; campus Indigenous programming; campus orientation; academic counselling, etc.
- Health Professional Capacity Building. RIHM is highly committed to clinical health services/sciences capacity building within and for the Indigenous community. As such, we prioritize professional training practica, internships, mentorship as well as pre-professional career orientation interviews, job shadowing and related training and development support. RIHM and RREES have also collaborated with the University of Toronto Rehabilitation Sciences Institute in creating:
- Initiation of new cultural and healing lodge and northern live-edge wood skills training hub in partnership with local business Roca Wood Works (www.rocawoodworks.ca). Together with NCFST/NLC, we are planning a similar wood skills training program and wood carving program in the Kingston-Galloway community of Scarborough--one of, if not the, largest urban Indigenous communities in Canada. The programs are endorsed by the David Suzuki Foundation (www.davidsuzuki.org) which will provide guidelines and oversight to assure sustainably sourced woods. Nation Imagination's Authentically Aboriginal (www.imaginationgroup.ca) will be granting Indigenous authenticity certification to artistic works produced by Indigenous participants in related carving, live-edge and potentially other works. A related program can be viewed in the image below as it similarly involves each of the primary partners.
Click here to view a related video.
- UTSC/RSI Community Health Centre (CHC) providing interdisciplinary mental health, traumatic brain injury/FASD, treatment/rehabilitation and family intervention services with Indigenous specialization. This concept is in the initial exploratory stages and would be housed on the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC), with proximal access to the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. While the Centre would service the community at large, it would specialize in addressing the unique needs of the proximal urban Indigenous community in the adjacent Kingston Road/Galloway area. It is recognized that the Indigenous community in general is known to have both high rates of mental health and substance concerns as well as significantly higher rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) incidence relative to the community at large. With leadership provided by the clinician-scientists within the psychology department of UTSC and the Rehabilitation Science Institute (UT), the intervention model would be broadly that of clinical-vocational outcome measurement-guided care. Guided by the expertise of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) services would offer a blend of traditional Indigenous and western approaches, catering to individual Indigenous patient preferences/needs. Best practice interdisciplinary care would provide interdisciplinary learning experiences for health and allied-health related professional trainees; the involvement of the acclaimed Wilson Centre (UT) would establish a clinical-research informed framework towards continual enhancement of best practice training in interdisciplinary care. Research linkages with the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health (WBIIH-UT) could enhance iterative best practice pursuits relative to Indigenous patient outcomes. An outcome measurement guided care framework would also guide patient centric care while fostering an iterative feedback loop between the adoption and development of increasingly efficacious evidence-based multi-disciplinary clinical/rehabilitation intervention modalities. An inaugural meeting was held in later 2016 including all of the above stakeholders, the Ministry of Health and Ontario Psychological Association CEO.
- Gladue Post-Sentencing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Pilot Clinic in partnership with Anashnawbe Health Toronto (www.aht.ca) and Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto (www.aboriginallegal.ca). The Gladue process is a Supreme Court of Canada mandated assessment of Indigenous persons whereby such individuals undergo an exhaustive psychosocial developmental assessment to assist the court in considering alternative sentencing tools to foster rehabilitation, community reintegration, reduced recidivism, and to place “particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders” in efforts to redress: “The drastic overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples within both the Canadian prison population and the criminal justice system”. The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) pilot project involves a multi-disciplinary pre-sentencing assessment (including Gladue-Social Worker, Physician, Neuropsychologist, Traditional Healer) of the incarcerated person towards the potential diagnosis of FASD, and holistic treatment/rehabilitation recommendations in the context of a feedback meeting oriented strictly for the offender, and a related report for the court/sentencing judge. (www.rtwintegratedhealth.com/services-offered/indigenous-mental-health-and-fetal-alcohol-clinic/)
Discussions are currently underway with the federal Beaver Creek correctional facility and its specialized First Nations healing program in Gravenhurst to support Indigenous cultural safety training for corrections and clinical staff as well as neuropsychological/vocational assessments, consultation and supported treatment services for incarcerated inmates with suspected FASD and other brain disorders. The aim is to begin piloting these services this Spring.
Click here to view a related poster.
- FASD assessment, intervention, training and support services for pilot program funded by Ontario Minister of Attorney General’s office and in association with Aboriginal Legal Services, Toronto.
- Criminal Justice Diversion and Improving Independent Living, Educational & Vocational Outcomes of At-risk Youth/Offenders with Neurodevelopmental (including FASD) Disorders: Towards a Brief, Cost-efficient cognitive screening for K-8 and correctional institutions. This is a study for which we are currently seeking funding in association with Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and University of Toronto Scarborough.
- “Indigenous People's and Sustainability hub". This is a new concept for stakeholder review and consideration and has the potential for being a significant source of youth employment and community/scientific and integrated learning engagement. The project would be both a community resource and a tourist destination with broad partnership-based theme marketing with the Skwachays Lodge and Indigenous/sustainability hub as anchor attractions. Skwachays Lodge (www.skwachays.com) in Vancouver is an award winning and highly financially successful Indigenous themed hotel with a related art gallery and an artist in residence program for 24 Indigenous developing artists (fully funded through the hotel revenues); its CEO has expressed an interest in supporting social franchising of their model. Sustainable education programming and connected ecotourism might include: Indigenous/pre/post-colonial history indoor/outdoor exhibits and trails/tours, in conjunction with Guild Park redevelopment and artistic/cultural programming, Rouge River/Park, Scarborough Bluffs sustainability redevelopment. Academically, it is envisioned that UTSC Indigenous scholars/Elders and Environmental/Sustainability and Critical Development programs would take lead programming roles. Programming participation would also be sought from NCFST, Indigenous focused Eastview Public School and Laurier high school based Native Learning Centre. Interactive experience relating to climate change and connected to an educational space exploring the Social and Sharing economies as tied to all aspects of sustainability. The Executive of the social enterprises, the Sharing Depot/Tool Library (sharingdepot.ca, torontotoollibrary.com) are highly interested in contributing a location to such a hub; while a bartering service info-location and repair clinics might also be considered. Related cultural/economic development aspects may include for example: Indigenous themed cafe/restaurant; retail outlets for Manitoba (www.manitobah.ca), Mother Earth Essentials (motherearthessentials.ca); Indigenous clothing lines as offered by a number of firms; Farmer’s market and ideally a year round sustainable grocery concept (coop based to maintain affordable prices and provide maximal youth job opportunities). Borrowing from the success of Regent Park’s redevelopment, strong consideration should also be given to partnering with an environmental/community oriented developer for building of the hotel and related rent-to-own first time buyer residential program (possibly also supporting the artist in residence program). Regional tourist/recreational programming and related theme marketing may be offered in terms of: hiking/biking (Rouge Park, Scarborough valley park system), beaches/kayaking/canoeing/paddle boarding (Bluffers Park, Rouge Beach Park), Toronto Zoo, ziplining (treetoptrekking.com/en/stouffville), Sugar Bush Festival/conservation programming (Bruce’s Mill), Toronto Island and the Ontario Science Centre.
For further related materials, please visit www.rrees.com/rrees-research-publications-presentations/#atrisk.