Alex LeGrow believes a big part of her job is to encourage youth to come out of their comfort zones while providing emotional support along the way.
LeGrow is a recreation therapy associate on the 24/5 in-patient unit of IWK’s Adolescent Intensive Services (AIS). She works with Nova Scotia youth aged 13 to 19 and their families with various mental health conditions and trauma backgrounds.
“I’ve worked with youth who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD,” says LeGrow. “I’ve taken them boxing, hiking, swimming, kayaking, rock-climbing, yoga, skating, and the list goes on. The best part of my job is when I introduce a client to an activity, and they find something they love, and they decide they want to continue with it upon discharge from our program and beyond.”
While the time youth spend in recreation therapy can sometimes be short, the impact can be life-changing.
“I had a coworker tell me that our job is to “plant seeds.” Watching youth grow into healthier versions of themselves is exciting and knowing that I get to go to work and support youth in stepping out of their comfort zones makes me jump out of bed in the morning!”
February is Recreation Therapy Month! Recreation therapy helps connect children and youth who have physical, mental, or social differences with opportunities to participate in and enjoy recreational activity.