"Find out how a private non-profit treatment facility for addicted teens in Ontario, Pine River Institute, produces some impressive results, and why people from all over the country are searching out its services."

Listen to host Steve Sutherland’s interview with Pine River CEO Dr.Karen Minden on CBC’s Information Morning.

Getting to know… Edward ‘Special Ed’ Roman Position: Music Therapist Ed has been with us at Pine River since April 2009.  Once a week he gathers the students for 90 minutes of music therapy with everything from hand drums to frying pans. In Ed’s words, these sessions are an opportunity to refocus attention, talk about science in music, how frequency and vibration affect us, to learn about artists, particularly those with tumultuous backgrounds who have used music as a means of healthy expression, and also to learn technical aspects of music such as theory and understanding rhythm. One of the more memorable sessions he had with the students was a rhythm making experiment that involved pouring rain, metal buckets, pots and pans.  As he explained, “Not everything we try is going to work, but everyone tried really hard and had a great laugh.” He also joins the students once a week for individual guitar, piano, and drum lessons. Ed describes his very rewarding position at Pine River as something he has wanted to do his whole life.  He has been playing music since he was 5, using it as ‘self-therapy’ to help him, “come outward and not be afraid of who (he) was.’” His wealth of experience includes teaching for the past 15 years in schools and at the conservatory in nearby Alliston, performing around the world with an 80-piece concert band, and touring North America with well-known African band ‘Njacko Backo and Kalimba Kalimba’.  He also has 26 different records to his name, 8 of which are international. When he’s not with the students or performing with this band ‘Special Ed and the Musically Challenged,’ he’s often writing songs.  Perhaps you’ve come across his video on youtube for a song he wrote called ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’s garage sale,’ which even caught Jimmy Kimmel’s attention. So how did ‘Special Ed’ end up at Pine River? Turns out program director Nicola Bangham saw his band at a music festival and (after interviews and background checks!) asked him to join the team. When asked what he likes most about working at Pine River, he talked about the, “honesty and sincerity of the staff and student community,” and how, “people really care about each other.”

It is important to us that families in need of help find us easily and quickly.  Over the past few years, most families have found us through word-of-mouth, and we are grateful to our alumni, colleagues, and our growing community of support for helping us spread the word that there is help, and hope, close to home.  Still, we often hear from families that they wish they had found us sooner.  We are expanding our efforts to raise awareness about Pine River, including sharing our message on the radio.  We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have been able to work with some very talented people to create a radio spot that we are proud of.  JIm Diorio of Manifest Communications (manifestcom.com) has been a long time friend of Pine River, and is the creative genius behind this spot.  Jim thank you so much for making this happen!  Producer Ted Sutton of Song and Patter (songandpatter.com), and Engineer Matt Davis (mattdavissound.com) have been very generous with their time and expertise - thank you!  We also appreciate Mary and Doug Kirk for their help and generosity getting this spot on Wave 94.7FM (wave947.fm).  We had an excellent response, and will be airing again soon. Listen for us on 680 News, coming soon!

This film was made by the Kaiser Foundation and Chronos Productions for Pine River Institute’s receipt of the Kaiser Foundation’s National Award of Excellence in 2009.

Take less then 5 minutes to check out this video from TED talks: Neuroscientist and inventor Christopher deCharms demonstrates a new way to use fMRI to show brain activity — thoughts, emotions, pain — while it is happening. In other words, you can actually see how you feel.

Imagine the implications for addiction treatment, PTSD, phobias… 

Warning: If you are looking at this from your office computer, you may feel extremely jealous!  Behind the lens is a student currently in the Outdoor Leadership Experience phase of our program, somewhere in Algonquin Park.

Pine River presenting at Addictions Ontario Conference Tomorrow, June 8th

Tomorrow (June 8), from 1:15pm to 2:45 pm at the 41st Annual Addictions Conference,  Stage West Hotel, Mississauga, Ontario

Bridging Research and Practice – Lessons in Building a Research Culture

The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing evidence-based practice. Moving from the general to the specific, there will be examples of how to build a research culture, the role of front line staff on a day to day basis, and the impact of evaluation research on the organization and its clients.

Dr. Karen Minden, PhD, CEO, Pine River Institute - Panel Moderator

Dr. Evangeline Danseco, PhD, Head of Evaluation and Research at the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO, will present an overview on the importance of evaluation research, the challenges and rewards of research-practice links, and resources available to support and build research capacity.

Samantha Yamada, M.Ed, Research Coordinator, Pine River Institute, will explain how research is used to inform and evaluate the Pine River Institute program, how it is resourced and managed, some highlights of outcome evaluation, what we have learned, and the impact on program and clients.

Nicola Bangham, MA, Program Director, Pine River Institute, will share the hands-on experience of working in a Research/Practitioner organization, and some of the challenges of integrating evaluation on a day to day basis. She will discuss how the staff contribute to evaluation research, and how the research is then integrated into program development.

Dr. Leena Augimeri, Director, Centre for Children Committing Offences & Program Development, Child Development Institute, will provide a perspective based on 23 years of experience of evolving an evidence-based program. She will clarify the difference between evidence-based and evidence-informed practice, the important role
of practitioners in the “scientist-practitioner” model, and use the SNAP® model as a brief case study.

More conference info here: http://www.addictionsontario.ca/conference

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test Success

Every Pine River student that wrote the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test successfully passed!!  Congratulations to the students and teaching staff!

World Environment Day

Tomorrow, June 5th, is UNEP World Environment Day and our students participated by planting trees with Credit Valley Conservation.   Students planted over 100 trees along the river near Alton, ON, and they were able to earn volunteer hours to contribute to
their Ontario Secondary School Diploma requirements.

More info about WED and tips to get involved here:
http://www.unep.org/wed/2009/english/

Nice work PRI students! Proud of your contribution!

Please spread the word

This tends to be a particularly difficult time of year for desperate families, with the school year ending and many support services on summer schedules.  We often hear from parents that they wish they had found us sooner.  I ask that you please help us in our effort to spread the word that help and hope is available, close to home.  With the stigma of mental illness and addiction, families in crisis are not always willing to reach out in their communities for help.  A friend, a neighbour, a relative, a colleague - we all know someone who is struggling with the nightmare of a teen in crisis, and this information may very well reach a family in need of help at just the right time.

Please consider forwarding this information to your network.

PINE RIVER INSTITUTE  HOPE IS A PLACE

Who do we help?
Pine River is designed for 36 students, ages 13 – 19. Most of them will have a history of:

• serious drug and alcohol problems
• family conflict
• defiance
• lack of motivation
• depression
• thoughts of suicide  
• school failure & truancy
• street involvement
• excessive anger
• low self-esteem
• anxiety
• running away

How do we do it?
Pine River offers a unique, holistic treatment and educational model, based on the developmental needs of adolescents, and grounded in best practices for substance abuse treatment for youth.  Our residential program is family-centered, individualized, and offers a flexible length of stay with the average being 6 months.  We offer a full, individualized academic program.  We offer comprehensive service, all in one place.  Students and families move seamlessly through the four phases of our program: Outdoor Leadership Experience, Residence, Transition, and Aftercare.

We have a professional and experienced multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, educators, addictions specialists, music, art, dance, and adventure therapists, and outdoor education specialists. With a 1:4 staff to student ratio, our staff have the opportunity to build strong relationships with our students and families as they experience all aspects of the program together.

Through careful documentation, reflection and review, we continuously monitor our work; compare our outcomes; seek new knowledge; and contribute to expanding the understanding of how to work effectively with young people and their families as they transition to adulthood. We are committed to making a meaningful contribution to best practices knowledge regarding helping Canadian adolescents and families deal effectively with substance abuse.  Our research will be shared so that it can best impact the relevant education and health policies and program in Canada.

Does Pine River work?

Research shows that Pine River works.  After Pine River, our students show a significant decrease in substance use, a near absence of crisis indictors such as hospitalization, police involvement and running away, and over 90% of students are attending school regularly, graduating, and attending college or university.  The students’ physical and emotional health are significantly improved, as is family health and functioning.  Our complete research findings are available on our website.

How much does it cost?
Pine River is a not for profit, fee for service program.  29 of our 36 beds are now funded by the Ontario government, for Ontario families.  Tuition for private pay beds is $448/day. A limited number of bursaries are also available from Pine River, and are based on financial need.

How to get help
Online: www.PineRiverInstitute.com
By phone: 519 925 9225 ext.102
By email: admissions@pineriverinstitute.com

A fantastic afternoon with Dr. Gabor Mate We had a full house at the school on Sunday of current and alumni parents, students, mental health workers, and educators gathering to spend an afternoon with Dr. Gabor Mate.  It was an inspirational, fascinating, personal, and educational seminar that each of the guests could relate to and learn from.  He spoke about ADD and addiction in the context of the brain, and compassion, and life experience.  He explained what we see every day with our students - that with the right opporunities and environment, change and growth is really possible. This was a great event to launch what will continue as a series of special guest speakers offering personal and professional development.  Thanks Dr. Mate, and to everyone who joined us! You can find out more about Dr. Mate here.

Pine River’s Research Coordinator and Co-founder Samantha Yamada Receives Prestigious Award We are so pleased to announce that Sam Yamada has been selected as one of the world’s leading doctoral students from Canada and abroad to be awarded Canada’s highly prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. This award, given to only 166 scholars, will support her research into ‘Unidirectional and bidirectional partnerships: a comparison of two methods for knowledge translation to promote child and adolescent mental health.’ Congratulations Sam, and thanks for the amazing research you do for Pine River! Full details of the award can be found here.

The final days of winter in the OLE…

REGISTER NOW

Addiction, ADHD, and Parenting: An afternoon with Dr. Gabor Mate

Please join us Sunday, May 3rd at 12 noon for a special seminar with Dr. Gabor Mate.

Dr. Gabor Mate is the bestselling author of When the Body says No and Scattered Minds, and co-author of Hold on to your Kids.  His newest book is In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. His by-line has often been seen in the Globe and Mail, for articles and commentary ranging from health to politics.  He is a dynamic, effective and inspiring speaker and seminar leader.  He is presently staff physician at a clinic in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where his patients are people with drug addictions, HIV and related problems.

Date & Time:   
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
12 pm: Refreshments
1pm to 3 pm: Seminar and Q&A with Dr. Gabor Mate

Location:
Pine River Institute Campus
Approximately 1.5 hours northwest of Toronto

Registration and Directions:   Yael, 416 955 1453, or yael@pineriverinstitute.com

Space for this event is limited, so please reserve your seat soon!

Dr. Mate’s books will be available for sale at the event.  For more information about him and his work, please visit www.drgabormate.com

For more information about Pine River Institute, please visit www.PineRiverInstitute.com

There is no fee for this special event, however if you would like to make a donation to the bursary fund to support families needing financial assistance to take part in Pine River’s program, we would be grateful to accept cash, cheques, or visa at the event.  You can also make a donation online through our website.  Donations of $25 or more will receive a tax receipt.

We look forward to seeing you there!

A day in the life… A couple of weeks ago the Kaiser Foundation came to the school to film a short video for the awards dinner on May 26.  We didn’t have any ‘special programming’ scheduled that day, and the filmmaker was wondering ahead of time what he might be able to catch on camera.  So what did he find on this typical day? Upon reaching the top of the long forested drive to the school, we found the students engaged in a team-building activity (easier seen in the photo above, than described).  From there they hiked into the woods to collect sap from the maple trees to boil over the campfire.  Up next, half of the students gathered in a drum circle for music therapy while the other half met in the art cabin for art therapy.  Teri and Pete cooked up another delicious meal of fresh made minestrone, quiche, and salad to refuel for the afternoon.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all schools were like this?

‘Pine River Gold’ It’s that time of year.  Staff and students are busy collecting sap from the maple trees around the school, boiling it over a big campfire, and turning it into delicious ‘Pine River Gold.’

BRIDGING RESEARCH AND PRACTICE – LESSONS IN BUILDING A RESEARCH CULTURE

Pine River will be part of a panel presentation on bridging research and practice at Addictions Ontario’s 41st Annual Conference, June 7-9, 2009 in Mississauga. 

The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing evidence-based practice. Moving from the general to the specific, there will be examples of how to build a research culture, the role of front line staff on a day to day basis, and the impact of evaluation research on the organization and its clients.

Dr. Karen Minden, PhD, CEO, Pine River Institute - Panel Moderator

Dr. Evangeline Danseco, PhD, Head of Evaluation and Research at the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO, will present an overview on the importance of evaluation research, the challenges and rewards of research-practice links, and resources available to support and build research capacity.

Samantha Yamada, M.Ed, Research Coordinator, Pine River Institute, will explain how research is used to inform and evaluate the Pine River Institute program, how it is resourced and managed, some highlights of outcome evaluation, what we have learned, and the impact on program and clients.

Nicola Bangham, MA, Program Director, Pine River Institute, will share the hands-on experience of working in a Research/Practitioner organization, and some of the challenges of integrating evaluation on a day to day basis.  She will discuss how the staff contribute to evaluation research, and how the research is then integrated into program development.

Dr. Leena Augimeri, Director, Centre for Children Committing Offences & Program Development, Child Development Institute, will provide a perspective based on 23 years of experience of evolving an evidence-based program. She will clarify the difference between evidence-based and evidence-informed practice, the important role of practitioners in the “scientist-practitioner” model, and use the SNAP® model as a brief case study.

Addictions Ontario has put together an excellent program this year.  More information and online registration here.

Pine River CEO Karen Minden at Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation Event

On May 12, 2009 Dr. Minden will join a panel presentation on Adolescent Addictions, as part of the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation’s Open Mind 2009 Workshop Series.

The workshop will take place at the Metro Central YMCA in Toronto, from 9 am to 4 pm. Mental health professionals, educators, youth services providers, justice workers, families, and youth are encouraged to attend.

Get complete event details here.

Online registration here.

16 Guidelines for Life - Pine River Institute

Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw posted this on her website. It’s about some amazing programming she has inspired at Pine River, led by a member of our staff, Craig Mackie.

* note that we actually serve 36 students with over 50 staff

 

A dream comes true…. part II

Proof Part 2