Laura Mills, our Director of Research & Evaluation, and Dr. Rick Biesinger from Innerchange will host an interactive session that will dialogue about the benefits of investing in research, best practices to sustain a culture of research in a resource-challenged environment, and challenges to avoid when engaging evaluative practice.
The conference will be held Feb 7 – 9 in Irvine, CA, and is an excellent venue for knowledge exchange, networking, and forging meaningful partnerships with international colleagues.
Laura Mills is Director of Research & Evaluation at Pine River. She is completing her PhD in Psychology in the area of Quantitative Methodology (Statistics). She is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of Pine River’s treatment to inform program planning and for conducting research that will help build an evidence base in the field of adolescent addictions and mental health. Her vision for the research department is growth through accountability, pioneership, and knowledge exchange. Laura’s PhD research focuses on a novel statistical procedure that works well with ‘messy’ data and her previous work has included research for the Simcoe County District School Board, consultant for the Statistical Consulting Service at York University, and rehabilitation worker for adults with serious mental health issues. She has a passion for photography, running, and the outdoors.
Rick Biesinger works at InnerChange, a parent company for four treatment facilities specializing in systemic treatment for females and their families. Rick conducts psychological evaluations on the students in the program. InnerChange is highly dedicated to furthering the advancement in outcome research. Rick interprets the research for all of the InnerChange programs, in an effort to help improve the quality of care provided. In addition, Rick maintains a private practice and teaches graduate students. He is married and he has six children, all of whom keep him and his wife quite busy.
We’re very excited to have introduced The Family Bridge for our Pine River families. It’s a great online tool that helps families to stay in close touch with us on campus, with other Pine River families, and with a support team of extended family, family friends, and professionals outside of Pine River. Meghan McIntosh (our program manager) has been blogging on ‘the bridge’ almost daily - here are some of the latest, photos of winter activities on campus:
We’re looking for someone exceptional to join our team. Full details of this opportunity on our website: http://www.pineriverinstitute.com/Therapist_Clinical_Team_Leader.html
"Motivating children to think before they act is key to social harmony" -
Dr. Debra Pepler is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology, LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, York University. She’s also the Senior Research Advisor for Pine River. Click on the link above to read what she has to say about bullying - an issue getting some well-deserved attention these days.
The Research Department at Pine River Institute is pleased to announce the approval of a grant application to the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health Knowledge Exchange Initiatives. PRI was the lead applicant in a team of nine organizations on the project named:
First Steps for Systematic Evaluation of Child & Youth Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
This funding of almost $15,000 will support a workshop in November 2012 that will allow program representatives in the youth addictions sector to start what we call the ‘messy conversation’ about what we think our program outcomes are, what we measure, and what we think are the necessary elements of program evaluation for youth treatment. This is a first step toward increased capacity and a shared approach for program evaluation in Ontario in the youth addiction sector. We will continue these conversations via teleconferences, and synthesize our findings to inform a plan for a province-wide roll out of similar workshops.
Congratulations to the graduating students and families! Last night we celebrated the hard work, commitment, and SUCCESS of five graduates. These graduates moved out of the Residence several months ago and have now completed the Aftercare Phase. We are so proud, and excited to hear all about the wonderful things to come for them…
Matt Galloway of CBC’s Metro Morning interviewed CEO Vaughan Dowie on July 6th about the Rotman School of Management’s Social Return on Investment (SROI) Analysis of Pine River. You can listen to the five minute segment through the CBC website here: : http://goo.gl/XKzUD. There’s a link to the complete SROI on our website here: http://www.pineriverinstitute.com/welcome.html
Pine River Institute is proud to announce that we are the recipient of the Community Environment Fund Grant! This grant, sponsored by Earth Day Canada and Sobey’s, supports local environmental initiatives and projects in Ontario. Pine River’s Sustainable Food Project will see the creation of a high-yield, organic vegetable garden; water harvesting; composting; and the creation of a new kitchen garden. This kitchen garden will feature a wide variety of culinary herbs just steps from the kitchen door. As students and staff prepare meals they can harvest fresh, wholesome herbs and vegetables.
This project will increase access to organic produce; reduce water use; decrease emissions from food transportation; and educate students, families, staff and volunteers about local, sustainable food systems.
Teacher Anne Thomson said, “This project answers the call for healthier food in youth institutions. Unlike the average Canadian school cafeteria, youth at the Pine River Institute are part of a much needed ground-breaking approach to institutional food sourcing. Not only will the food be wholesome it will be ecologically sound, free of synthetic chemicals and prodced on-site.”
We are delighted with our new partnership with Earth Day Canada and look forward to seeing Pine River grow!
The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto recently completed a Social Return on Investment analysis of Pine River. Among the highlighted conclusions of the report: For every dollar the government spends on each student who successfully completes the program, they realize a return of ~$34, amounting to cost savings per individual of $2.4 million.
The full report is available on our website, here.
“As parents we are thrilled with our babies and feel that their lives are filled with possibility. We hope for the best for them. We watch them grow into essentially good kids. Then something bewildering happens. We witness their lives collapse. They become dependent on drugs and alcohol, fail at school, become defiant and sometimes violent at home, get in trouble with the law, and begin to climb down the social ladder. Before we know it the arena of possibility we once saw as endless has shrunk to almost a single point. My only hope was for my daughter to survive long enough to pull out of this death-defying tailspin. A “good” day became a day with no bad news.
An aphorism attributed to Aristotle goes like this: “We become that which we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not a single act but a habit.” In one sense this has alarming implications for our kids. What are they becoming? Certainly not contributing members of a family or a community or a society.
We shuttled from one social service agency to another. Once, in the terribly awkward moment after my daughter had stormed out of a consultation, I lamented to the counselor that I felt helpless to do anything for her. She assured me that I was indeed doing the best thing I could possibly do. That was a simple and powerful message that kept me going when it seemed like all hope was lost.
Ultimately my daughter had been offered a number of short-term programs and rejected them all in favour of going to PRI. I believe she must have known in her heart that six weeks of group counseling was not going make a dent in her decline.
One thing that impressed me about the staff at PRI, from the rocky initiation in the woods, through the long residential phase, through to the aftercare, was their ability to see through the defiance, the layers of drama and deceptiveness and see that essential good kid within, with a heart and a head that I had lost track of in all the turmoil.
I also want to acknowledge the role of the other kids in the community. When my daughter went AWOL and ended up in a youth shelter, PRI was able to get a message to her. It was simply a package of letters that her team members, her peers, had written expressing their love and concern for her. It made all the difference in her decision to return to PRI, even though it meant starting all over again in the woods.
Doing the work that is done at PRI is difficult. You can’t throw dozens of these kids into a facility and expect things to go smoothly or flawlessly. It is not a single act performed on a given day that represents the turning point, although there are plenty of those along the way. What has made the difference for my kid, going back to Aristotle, is the habit of excellence practiced at PRI.
Is life after PRI perfect? No. But it is once again a life with possibility. For this I am grateful.”
There will be a Silent Auction at the Trail Run Relay this Sunday, with all proceeds going towards Pine River’s Help Make A Home Campaign. Included in the auction are these beautiful creations from artists Stephanie and Frank Vandermey. You can check them out in person at the event. Thanks Vandermeys!
The TREAD 6-Hour Trail Run Relay is THIS WEEKEND, Sunday, May 27th. Registration closes at midnight on Thursday, May 24th. If you’re signing up, this is your last chance - head on over to PineRiverInstitute.com.
“In order to do well in your race, you need to know your Pace”
In long distance running, pace is very important. Runners should try to avoid going out too fast, especially too early. Going out too slow can also be a bad thing - you can use more energy to run slowly and often offers diminished returns.
You should be running at a very comfortable pace and avoid running a faster pace than you can maintain. If you are running solo or several relay legs, you should WALK up the hills and save the running for flats and downhills (although while training, running up hills is helpful for muscle building and endurance).
Having a good strategy regarding your pace before you start will help guarantee a successful finish.
We are getting close to race day and everyone training should be running on tired legs to prepare oneself for race day.
Soon enough, we will be brushing shoulders at the start line. Keep up the training. We are almost done.
We’re less than 3 weeks away from the big day! If you haven’t yet registered to participate, head on over to PineRiverInstitute.com – early bird rates end May 13th.
There are many ways to participate in the TREAD 6 Hour Trail Run Relay for Pine River on May 27th, 2012. It will be a great event for families, kids, competitive runners, first-time joggers, and leisurely meander-ers alike! The 4km trail will be open from 10 am until 4 pm – during this time you and your teammates can complete as many (or as few) laps of the course as you want. When you’re not on the trail you can enjoy live music, kids activities, yoga, storytelling, delicious food, and more!