MISSISSAUGA) — A Credit Valley Hospital social worker who turned his passion for running into a group therapy program for teens and their parents recently received the National Quality of Life Award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. In June, Dan McGann, a social worker in the hospital’s Child and Family Clinic, was honoured for his innovative Teen Run Group Therapy Program which provides teens with a unique approach to coping with depression.
“I ran as a child to cope with a turbulent home life, and took up running again as an adult after having a major depressive episode with severe anxiety,” explained McGann. “Running helped me with the depressive symptoms, and I was able to manage stress better.” Running provided the outlet he needed to cope with his own depression, prompting McGann to create a running program for the teens he counselled at the hospital. McGann’s willingness to talk about his own mental health challenges help break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
Twice a week for 12 weeks, McGann meets with a group of 14- to 19-year-olds to train for local five and 10 kilometre races. Launched in 2006 with a group of nine teens, the Teen Run Group Therapy Program now helps more than 40 teens and parents in each 12-week session. Guest speakers share inspirational stories and health information while McGann and a team of volunteer coaches help the teens with the physical component of the program. Participants record their moods before and after running, using a scale from one to 10. Most begin with a two or three, and end with a six, seven or eight after the run. “For teens the program is focused on building confidence and setting goals,” said McGann. “Each week there is an accomplishment and celebration of a new goal, which serves to build self-control and self-confidence.”
“Our priority at Credit Valley is to provide the best patient care possible, and improve the lives of the people we serve, which is precisely what Dan’s program exemplifies,” said Michelle DiEmanuele, President and CEO of The Credit Valley Hospital. “We are thrilled that this innovative program has been recognized for the impact it has on the quality of life of our patients, their families and this community.”
The Quality of Life Award is presented by the Canadian College of Health Leaders, a national, non-profit, professional association dedicated to developing, promoting, advancing and recognizing excellence in health leadership. This annual award honours those who work to improve the lives of their patients and their families as well as the community through their desire, creativity and dedication. Quality of life can be interpreted broadly to include any act that improves a patient’s health and/or spirit, the lives of the patient’s family and/or the community.
The Credit Valley Hospital provides community-based patient and family-centred care to approximately one million people in Mississauga and the surrounding region. Our community hospital also has a teaching affiliation with The Academy of Medicine at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The Credit Valley Hospital has consistently achieved the highest awards from Accreditation Canada meeting national safety and patient care standards. The Credit Valley Hospital values excellence, leadership, diversity and partnership so that Together We Create Better Health Care.
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The Credit Valley Hospital
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