During this time of the COVID-19 virus, Home on the Hill has received a number of emails from families who are struggling with a family member who is in crisis because the regular outlets of activity are not available to him or her because of the quarantine. Our recreation therapist has been conducting Zoom meetings with those who are stuck at home to organize meaningful activity on Zoom.
Family caregivers of those with a severe and persistent mental illness who wish to join our online support group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This group is also open to health professionals who have a family member with a serious mental illness and want a safe environment to find support.
For information about anosognosia training you may want to contact the LEAP Foundation at lfrp.org
Several Home on the Hill family caregivers have taken the training and found it very helpful. Here is a testimonial from a family caregiver who recently attended the last online session:
VIRTUAL FAMILY ART EXPRESSION PROGRAM.
Connect with Artist Lesley Block by contacting email@example.com.
SOUND HEALING ENERGY FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS.
Do you respond well to music and sound as a great way to relax? Share a staycation space online (Zoom platform) where you will get to sit back, relax and enjoy healing sounds to wash away your stress. Joanna Grace provides Sound Reiki vocals and instrumental sound healing with her spirit drum and wooden instruments. Only 3 people per session to ensure attention and connection. Sessions are generally scheduled between 4:30 and 7:30 pm. More information is available at www.soundhealingenergy.ca or “Sound Healing Energy” on Facebook.
ZOOM PEER RECREATION GROUP WITH RECREATION THERAPIST TRACY WONG.
Contact Maggie Veltheer for invitation: at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BELOW ARE IMAGES AND DESCRIPTIONS OF PAST PROGRAMMING. STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES AS WE MOVE FORWARD.
ABOUT HOME ON THE HILL
Home on the Hill is a Charitable Organization founded by the families of people with serious mental illness. It was incorporated in 2011 and received charitable registration in 2012.
Home on the Hill serves clients from the 2.5 percent of individuals who have severe and persistent mental illness. These individuals often do not access service from mainstream mental health agencies. Many have the symptom of anosognosia and lack insight that they have an illness, so believe that they do not need service.
Home on the Hill supports their families, too, who are still not considered part of the “circle of care” by the formal system. The 2013 Guidelines from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which would pave the way for the family voice to be incorporated into the formal mental health system remain largely unimplemented to this day.
Home on the Hill proudly supports the Guidelines of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and incorporates the recommendations into our model of care. Accordingly, our programs are developed by families together with clients. Our programming supports both the family and their loved ones with severe and persistent mental illness.
DESCRIPTIONS OF PAST PROGRAMMING.
Family Support Group and Respite:
The Family Support Group meets at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill on alternate Wednesdays. Please see schedule above to determine which Wednesday.
During this two hour duration, caregivers have the opportunity to express and discuss their feelings in a safe and confidential space. The group is led by a caregiver and a professional facilitator. The goal is that family caregiver leave with a sense of relief and knowing that they are continuously supported by others with similar experiences. This group meets on alternate Wednesdays at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill at 7 pm.
Families also take part in Home on the Hill funded respite activities like enjoying a restaurant dinner or lunch together. Recently, the group attended the Sound of Music at the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts. These events are popular and always looked forward to.
Robert Veltheer Lecture Series on Mental Illness:
This is our signature program named for our late founder and family caregiver, Robert Veltheer. In this series, psychiatrists and other well regarded mental health professionals give lectures on mental illness and its implications. Subjects which have been covered are diet and exercise, anxiety and depression, schizophrenia, psychotic illness, bi-polar disorder, the relationship between marijuana use and psychosis, and lived experience. Home on the Hill is very grateful for these wonderful speakers who have given freely of their time and expertise! Please see information under Robert Veltheer Series or upcoming events. For further information contact email@example.com The Robert Veltheer Lecture Series is funded by Richmond Hill Hall Charities.
Peer Recreation Program
This program is composed of two groups: The Wednesday Group and the Thursday Group. Each group has 4 or 5 participants. Activities can include archery, pottery, go cart racing, gym, mini golf and other activities. It is run by a recreation therapist.
Our art psychotherapy program is offered by a registered art therapist (CATA, ACAT).
Art therapy is widely employed in various settings including retirement homes and long-term care facilities to help people cope with and address both mental and physical challenges.
Art therapy helps family caregivers and their loved ones who suffer from mental health challenges like burnout, depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, express their thoughts and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental space.
We offer free art therapy services in one-on-one, as well as semi-private or group settings. To maximize the therapeutic benefit of our services, we strongly recommend that each client participate in at least eight sessions (ideally, once or twice per week).
Art Expression through Painting:
Unlike Art Therapy, this is not a therapy class. Participants are encouraged to express themselves freely through painting. The group can include caregivers and those living with mental illness. The weekly session is run by a local artist who engages and inspires us to express ourselves through painting. Materials are supplied and the coffee is on us. This event happens at Cover Notes in Richmond Hill.
The music session helps participants improve their health in several domains, such as cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional development, social skills, and quality of life by expressing their creativity through music. The group is called Halcyon Minds.
Free Community Lunch :
This program is for our participants who volunteer in the kitchen. Caregivers are welcome too. The program believes in a “healthy mind, healthy body” approach. It focuses on communication, cooperation, mindfulness, creativity and appreciation. Working together in the kitchen provides our everyone with a sense of initiative and belonging. Preparing, and serving these healthy lunches fosters integration, and builds self esteem. Lunch is served at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill at noon every Friday. All members of the public are very welcome.
In this class, individuals will participate in a one hour yoga session that focuses on enhancing your mood, relieving stress and improving memory, all while boosting overall fitness. Limited space is available. This class is for caregivers and those living with mental illness. Please contact Maggie@rveltheer.com.
Home on the Hill acquired its first housing unit at the Community Hub at 10415 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill on November 1, 2016. A tenant was selected for this unit and is currently receiving support services from Home on the Hill. The tenant’s family are happy that their loved one has an independent living unit, but continue to play a vital role in the tenant’s life. Our organization has recently been approved to receive a one bedroom housing unit from Richmond Hill Ecumenical Homes.
On April, 2020 Home on the Hill is planning the addition of four supportive housing beds. This plan is currently interrupted by the COVID-19 virus.
Who funds Home on the Hill:
Home on the Hill is a family driven organization whose volunteers contributed an average of 4,000 hours per year. Many of the volunteers are family caregivers. On October 28th of 2017, we had our first gala fundraiser which was very successful. We were very honored that this event was attended by both our federal and provincial representatives and two local councilors. We are also the proud recipients of funding from the Mayor’s Golf Tournament, Councillor Karen Cilevitz’s Skating Party, St. Mathews United Church, Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Richmond Hill Legion, CharityBingo.ca/Richmond Hill and Private Donations. Please see the Donor Recognition page for more information.
For more recent information about our funders, please see the Funders’ page.
Home on the Hill expresses profound thanks and gratitude to the Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club for sponsoring the fundraiser “Lawn Bowling with a Goal” which was held at the Lawn Bowling Club on Sunday, July 7th.