Dr. Dana Kopka: I have watched them gain weight. I have listened to their complaints. I have seen them be compensate because of their non compliance with their medication. It became very clear that something had to be done about it. It is not only about their psychological wellbeing but also about their physical health.
Jason Moores RN(EC): We're starting to realize more and more that the two are very much connected and interdependent. I think that's where we found there was a niche that needed to be explored further.
Dr. David McNeill: When you look out to the community there are many programs that are geared to towards people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. We wanted to take clinics that have a similar makeup and be able to gear that towards the mental health population.
Glenna Raymond: Whether it's the medical staff, the dietition, nurse practitioner, social work, pharmacy, recreationist, it takes an entire team to focus on recovery in mental health care and we can't possibly address a client's individualized needs for optimal health without that full team approach.
Jason Moores: The team consists of a clinical side and a healthy lifestyle side. The clinical side would be primary healthcare physicians, psychiatry, myself as a nurse practitioner. On the healthy lifestyle side we have, dietitions, therapeutic recreations, personal trainers. We involve physiotherapy. Beyond that we've connected with health care providers in the community to link services with them to try and maximize what we're able to provide for the patients and minimize duplication of service.
Liz: I've been with the clinic for a good portion of time and I've lost probably 30 pounds. My heart is stronger. My lungs are stronger. I'm able to do things I wasn't able to do before.
Susan: I was really shocked to hear how much I'd lost on my waist. I knew I was loosing weight because my close started fitting different and I feel better. That's the main reason. I feel a lot better.
Liz: It makes me feel good because I'm making choices about my life now, where before I didn't think I could make those choices.
Susan: I can take aqua aerobics. I have a trainer in the gym. I prefer the gym. I like to lift weights. I go for walks at home. I go for walks with my dogs. I also go to my nutritionalist. I go to my physiotherapist.
Jason Moores: When we look at traditional programs in the community around weight loss or diabetes the adherance rates aren't very encouraging.There tends to be high numbers of drop outs. In our clinic we've actually seen adherance rates - around 70% in the marginalized population which is very encouraging but which was also surprising to us and better than expected.
Dr. David McNeill: There are many individual success stories and many individual patients achieving wonderful things in our clinic, but also when we look at the statistics over the last two years we've been able to achieve excellent results which should prolong the lives and give better quality of live to our patients.
Jason Moores: Our patients involved in the clinic seem to be admitted to hospital less often. They seem to be more compliant with their medication. They seem to take less medication to manage their mental illness.
Glenna Raymond: Well certainly there are some statistical results in terms of early outcomes, early results, but I think the most rewarding is when I hear from a patient directly what the clinic had done for them in terms of motivating their involvement in physical activity and being able to have a sense of self esteem. Those were the results that were really heart warming and rewarding to hear about.
Susan: It is one step towards mental health that you can't turn away. The pills give you this much help. The doctors give you this much but you do this much and you will live a better life.
Liz: I just feel good. It makes me feel good about myself and I like who I am.