Creating a Therapeutic Community for Mental Healthcare

July 1, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Rosemary Kelly, a former teacher, is a homemaker, mother of four and grandmother of nine. Dan Kelly is a retired senior officer of the Deloitte and Touche Accounting firm. Their lives changed drastically in the late 1980s when their son John was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Failing to find the type of center they sought, they conceived of and created www.rosehillcenter.org, Rose Hill Center, a residential psychiatric rehabilitation program. They share their personal stories. They discuss the challenges faced by and the support needed by families with children or young adults with schizophrenia and the circumstances that surround it. They explain the specialized work of the Center and the ways in which it provides the support needed by those with schizophrenia and their families. They say what more they intend to do and would like to see done by others to expand the support needed by those with mental health challenges and their families, and share their messages for family caregivers.

Family Caregivers Unite!

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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