Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advancing Excellence in Mental Health Despite Stalling Economy

The Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists And Psychotherapists (OACCPP), at their September 24th Annual General Meeting in Toronto have selected Paul Radkowski, CEO and Clinical Director of the Life Recovery Program as the recipient of the very first OACCPP "RECOGNITION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE & CONTRIBUTION IN THE FIELD OF MENTAL HEALTH."

Times of economic uncertainty often mean cut backs in programs and funding mental health and addiction services. However, these variables didn't deter Paul, who served in hospital and treatment settings throughout Canada, from seeing the needs of people struggling to f adequate supports and services. This led him to create an on demand, video based, 24/7 therapeutic, psycho-educational support program called the Life Recovery Program

The OACCPP is a rapidly growing incorporated professional association formed in 1978 to represent providers of mental health services in the general areas of consulting, counselling, psychoeducational assessment and psychotherapy.

In terms of access and stigma challenges faced by those struggling with mental health and addiction issues, the OACCPP president, Naseema Siddiqui, stated that Radkowski not only identifies these needs, but also addresses them with the creation of the Life Recovery Program.

"The paradigm is starting to shift and this kind of innovation can no longer be ignored" states Radkowski. "The issues of mental health and addiction are here to stay. The internet is also here to stay." Searches for health and help related resources on the internet are growing. According to a Statistics Canada 2005 survey, 35% of Canadians age 18 and over searched the Internet for medical or health related information which increased to 59% in 2007 and more recently 70% in 2009.

Research is beginning to build with online modalities. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health did a critical review of 75 online treatment studies showing strong evidence for internet based treatment approaches.

Radkowski states that he has been speaking with Employee Assistance Provider's, government agencies and treatment centres that are looking for a more effective way to address these issues. "It's a more for less model, which provides more bang for one's buck. Its different than e-counselling, so it makes it even more cost effective. These are 24/7 issues requiring a 24/7 solution and as it turns out, the Life Recovery Program can improve lives while saving money".

The Life Recovery Program is unique in its delivery and customizability. Some agencies have expressed interest in customizing the Life Recovery Program into "Mini-Programs." This would enable clients to choose their topic of interest from a treatment menu addressing issues such as: healthy relationships, anger management, stress management, grief, boundaries, self esteem, anxiety, depression, trauma or PTSD, and relapse prevention. "These are some of the more common reasons why people seek counselling" says Radkowski.

Radkowski further justifies an online offering by asking, "What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Historically some of the gaps in the mental health system results in people waiting for services. Some of these people may also be dealing with issues of stigma, lack of support and not getting the help they need resulting in them falling through the cracks. Sadly, according to CAMH, only 1/3 of those needing help, actually receive it. It's time to explore all options and provide alternative and more cost effective approaches."

Radkowski's Life Recovery Program has also been recognized by the International Association of Addiction & Offender Counselors, a division of the American Counseling Association. In 2008 they awarded him the "Outstanding Addictions Professional Award" recognizing the innovation and comprehensiveness of his program.

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http:

Contact Information

Life Recovery Program
Paul Radkowski