One of the highlights of the Third Annual Institute on Recreation for the Ill and Handicapped, sponsored by the New York University School of Education and the National Recreation Association, was the session on "Recreation for the Convalescent Mentally Ill Outpatient." It is becoming apparent to many psychiatrists across the nation that it is necessary to teach patients who have been emotionally ill how to use their free time in a leisurely rather than compulsive manner. Many psychiatric hospitals are extending their services for the patient into the community, providing help with vocational and financial problems and living arrangements. Psychiatric hospitals are offering their patients recreation planning and counseling in the predischarge period, as a new community service. Some hospitals are even providing recreation staff in the community itself for helping outpatients work out their recreation problems. Two pioneers in this type of program are Marie Sante, chief of recreation at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and John Beard, executive director of The Fountain House in New York City.
The Fourth Institute in Hospital Recreation to be held at the University of Minnesota May 26-28 will include the following program:
• Design for Research in the Hospital Recreation Program.
• Program Evaluation in the Light of Patient Needs.
• Staff Development and Self-Improvement.
• Audio-Visual Aids and Other Media for Interpretation of the Hospital Recreation Program.
• Recreation Needs and Activities for the Aged, Long-Term, and Other Specific Types of Patients.
Application should be in very early.
An interesting article appeared in The New York Times Magazine, December 29, 1957, by Mike Gorman, executive director of the National Committee Against Mental Illness. The article, "Open Hospitals for the Mentally Ill," discusses some of the latest trends in planning for the psychiatric patient. If you are not familiar with the "day hospital," and the "night hospital," this article describes them clearly. Mr. Gorman has also edited a recent report you should have. It is called Has Intensive Therapy Paid Off? and is available free from The National Mental Health Committee, 1129 Vermont Avenue, N. W., Washington, D.C.
The first part of the National Study on Recreation in the Medical Setting is nearing completion. The section on administration is complete and will be available sometime this spring. The second section on personnel is in preparation and will be available in the fall. On behalf of the staff and the advisory committee for the study, we would like to thank each and every one of you who has participated by furnishing us with information. The results are striking and will have great bearing on the future of recreation for the ill and handicapped.
Are you doing a research project your hospital? We are interested as we are frequently asked about such projects concerning recreation and are attempting to maintain a file in our office. Two brought to our attention in the last month are "The Use of Nursing Stations in Psychiatric Units of General Hospitals," in the Journal of the American Hospital Association, October 16, 1957, which suggests that recreation personnel use nursing stations for staff interchanges, recording, and discussions concerning patient care, and A Patient's Eye View of Hospital Operation, a study of patients being discharged from the Veterans Administration Hospital, New York City. Some of the findings indicate that patients want more afternoon recreation programs, more recreation for nonambulatory patients, and more frequent
If there is a study in progress in your hospital, let us know about it!—Beatrice H. Hill, Director, NRA Consulting Service on Recreation for the Ill and Handicapped.