It is both refreshing and validating to hear that others also see the value in reintegration groups as a potential avenue to support youth in eventually increasing work and school productivity! I am reflecting particularly on Michele’s early lecture (Module 2) which touched on how supporting clients in their area of ‘play’ can be key in supporting clients’ mental health.
My colleague and I introduced an Activity/Recreation Group this summer to promote ‘play’ among our participants and also target areas of decreased socialization and self-esteem. The goal was to provide our youth with an opportunity to explore a variety of activities (e.g. spike ball, badminton, basketball- we even took them climbing at the gym!), and also give them the opportunity to interact with other participants, practice socialization skills and build meaningful connections etc. My colleague and I ran into the similar group planning steps that were mentioned in this module (such as organizing appropriates group times & dates, considering clients safety etc.) and we learned alot simply from running the group for the first time this season.
The feedback that we received was so positive that our team is planning to run a FallWinter Activity Group this year. We are hoping that this will encourage current and new clients to continue engagement during the colder months, when initiation/activity engagement can be difficult. Some of the participants shared that they enjoyed the familiarity of seeing/interacting with other EPI clients as well. There are so many benefits to providing this opportunity, I believe that it can be a foundational segway into eventually targeting high levels of productivity, such as school and work.