Canada’s first healing farm
Eli’s Place will be a farm-based residential treatment centre helping adults age 18-35 who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, mood disorders and related mental health challenges
Purposeful living is possible
A caring and intentional environment, Eli’s Place will help clients:
- See their ability to live with their Illness,
- Gain real-life skills to do so, and
- Receive transitional support to more independent living
The core elements of Eli’s Place
Based on a proven effective model
After conducting an in-depth global review of 33 centres, Eli’s Place chose the 108-year-old proven effective model of Gould Farm.
Employment rates of the Gould Farm program participants went from 14% at departure to 81% 18 months after participation. Only 5% had a re-hospitalization and 100% were in stable housing 36 months after participation.
Long-term rural residential care
Rural residential programs for young adults, dedicated to mental illness, do not exist in Ontario. While there are small inpatient centres in hospitals, they are typically 6-8 weeks in duration with year-long wait times. With a diagnosis of serious mental illness often coming years after first symptoms, and too often at a time of emergency, residential treatment is essential. A stay of 6 months with 12 months of transitional care is the global best-practice. Moreover, care in a non-clinical setting dramatically improves outcomes. Farm-based, Eli’s Place will provide a continuum of therapeutic care in a setting which allows the time, space and community to develop a sense of purpose and achieve stability.
Many clients will come to Eli’s Place isolated from their community and with complicated family relationships caused by their illness. At Eli’s Place, they join a safe therapeutic community where staff and guests live and work side-by-side to support one another and hold one another accountable. Clients begin to see the importance of community, identify new possibilities seeing other clients’ successes, and learn new skills for managing relationships while living with serious mental illness. Clinically validated to improve mental health, the therapeutic community approach is particularly effective for individuals with concurrent diagnoses.
Integral to the recovery model, the positive outcomes of meaningful work include improved medication compliance, lessened symptoms, and a reduction in relapses. At Eli’s Place, as members of work teams, guests will contribute to all aspects of the farm’s daily work, from tapping trees to make maple syrup and harvesting produce to sell at the local farmers market to helping to prepare meals. Through the process clients learn the benefits of structuring their time and contributing to community life as they learn to manage their symptoms and reach their potential.
Clinical care in a non-clinical setting
Our staff of caring experts will deliver holistic care. Our Social Workers, Psychologist, and consulting Psychiatrists will provide each client with individual and group-based care. While practices are similar to those offered in clinical settings, outcomes will increase within our community milieu environment. Our Work Team leaders, Farmer, Music and Art Therapist, Recreationist, and Chef, will focus on recovery and guide our service’s alternative aspects, providing meaningful work, fostering a safe and productive community, and clinical engagement.
Transitional care for long-term client success
Transitional care starts while the client is still living at Eli’s Place. The Community Transition Worker will help clients prepare for the move back to their home community including planning for housing and developing a support network. Clients will have support, as needed, with the same Community Transition Worker for up to 12 months. Assistance may include facilitating access to community mental health programs as well as employment, housing, education, and volunteer opportunities. The Transition Worker may also help the client establish positive friendships and re-establish family connections.
Respite care, if needed
Serious mental illness is complex. Even with exceptional care, some individuals will experience relapses. At Eli’s Place, respite care is built into our standard model of care. Through our commitment to tracking results, continuous improvement, and sharing of our learning, we will continue to improve outcomes.