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“Recreation therapy is new to the CARS community this year. While CARS has had recreation for a very long time, therapeutic recreation is fun with a purpose. Clients will learn valuable skills during leisure activities - which include increasing self-esteem, decision making, impulse control, following step-by-step instructions, and maintaining healthy relationships with peers and staff. Our clients need more education when it comes to how to be a healthy individual and how to use their free time for rewarding activities that give their lives meaning. To meet these goals, groups such as Leisure Education, Seasonal Recreation, Social Activities, Recreation Skills, and Art, Culture, & Recovery are offered.

During an assessment period, clients will learn which types of activities they are interested in and if they have a high incidence of taking risks. In this population, many clients are adrenaline seekers and feel the need to find that ‘rush’ in life. This is where recreation can play an important role to fill that void. After the assessment, clients will be given leisure and recreation resources for the county they will be discharged to, allowing the clients to walk away from CARS with a list of community resources.

I believe everyone can benefit from having a healthy leisure lifestyle – whether that be relieving stress from a long day at work, finding time to play with your kids, or volunteering your free time to an organization that is important to you. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Leisure is the time for doing something useful.” For CARS clients to have a fulfilling life, they need to understand the importance of leisure in their life.”

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