Written by Victor Camille Lebouthillier
A. How Health Masters Works
Health Masters is an evidence-based, feedback-informed approach to mental health. It offers virtual, facilitated, and interactive workshops that occur once a week for seven weeks. In keeping with being an evidence-based approach to mental health, the workshops are tailored to train participants to improve their mental health via developing skills and strategies that work for them. Health Masters fosters a non-judgmental, encouraging, and supportive atmosphere. If adopted at the workplace, Health Masters’ workshops typically occur during the lunch hour and require minimal work on the part of the employer.
B. Options for Attending Health Masters’ Workshops
Health Masters is open to anyone who wishes to improve their own, or a loved one’s mental health. Health Masters is equally valuable to those who appreciate the relationship between optimizing one’s mental health strategies and enjoying a life of wellness.
Currently, there are three Health Masters’ workshops each year, beginning on the 15th of the month. Workshops are offered in January, April, and September.
Health Masters is a flexible program that tries to accommodate the modern world in which people have busy schedules and sometimes are separated by physical distances. Health Masters generally consists of groups of 5-15 individuals. Participation can be in-house where the group meets together in a designated location. Alternatively, group participation can be virtual, where group members are in different physical locations and meet via teleconferencing technology. Finally, workshop groups can be a mix of in-house and virtual.
C. How to Implement Health Masters
One of Health Masters’ advantages and one of its strengths is the ease with which it can be implemented into any type of organization. There are seven discrete elements to implementing Health Masters:
- An onsite Health Masters’ host needs to be recruited. This individual will be responsible for organizing and assisting in the entire process.
- The host undergoes training. This training is important because the host will play a key role promoting the program, recruiting group members, and assisting group members in the logistical function of Health Masters’ weekly Team Training sessions. A Masters-level counsellor is available to the group via telephone.
- Health Masters is promoted and participants register online. Health Masters has developed software to assemble the group thereby minimizing administrative resources needed.
- A private room is secured. If the workshop is entirely in-house, the host will need to secure the meeting room. The host will also print the written materials for each training session, which can be found on the website.
- The first session of Health Masters is carried out. Aside from the topic content, this session will introduce group members to Health Masters’ resources and the technology used by Health Masters.
- Weekly check-ins and activities between group members conducted via telephone or in-person are assigned through the Health Masters’ dashboard.
- The remaining six Health Masters sessions and their respective activities are carried out over the following weeks.
During the course of the seven week workshop, participants will receive learning tips from the Team Trainer. Group members will also have access to a Health Masters’ counsellor. Alternatively, if the workshop is at a place of employment, group members can use their employer’s EAP program, which can be easily integrated with Health Masters.
D. Inpatient Program
Individuals may require more intensive one-on-one support. In conjunction with Learn to Leap, Health Masters’ sister product that is designed for one-on-one support (www.learntoleap.ca), Health Masters also offers some one-on-one inpatient and outpatient support. In contrast to the more traditional single strategy approach, this support uses a multi-strategy approach for treating mental health struggles.
The inpatient program involves spending 2, 4, or 6 weeks in a supportive environment in Kelowna, BC. The overall goal of the program is to build selfesteem and a high trust quotient, both of which are necessary to increase responsiveness to positive, constructive change. After the client returns home, they continue to receive coaching sessions each week to provide the support needed to maintain the skills they have learned that will help them achieve the psychological and behavioral goals they have set for themselves.
Although a variety of traditional treatments are provided, the inpatient program takes a holistic approach towards achieving and strengthening mental health. Activities include incorporating healthy eating patterns, hydrotherapy, cardiovascular activity, engaging in social engagement activities, and wilderness treks that involve hiking up to and spending a weekend at a cabin in the surrounding mountains. The core feature of all of these activities is to create a warm, nurturing and loving environment that optimizes the building of self-esteem, self-growth, and the confidence and courage needed to bring about real sustainable change and achieve the mental, emotional, and relationship goals of the individual.
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