What’s the Why?

We at Smokey Point have an amazing staff of people whom are totally committed to improving the lives of our patients. We wanted to share some insight into why these dedicated professionals do what they do each day to improve the lives of so many.

Suzanne DuBois profile picture

Featuring Recreational Therapist, Suzanne DuBois

Why do you do what you do here at Smokey Point?

I work as a Recreation Therapist at SPBH because I am passionate about helping people. I aim to help our patients process their situation, express themselves, connect with others and find joy. I hope to add to the toolbox of coping skills our patients take home by filling it with reminders of the things that they enjoy so they can successfully achieve healing and recovery.

I was working in the recreation field in adaptive programs prior to getting my degree in Recreation Therapy at Western. I didn’t even know the degree existed and when I heard about it, I knew it was for me. I love the combination of recreation and therapy, and do whole-heartedly believe recreation is a necessity of life. I am passionate about mental health, dealing with depression and anxiety in my own life, and love working with people to help them through their own struggles.

In my Expressive Therapy groups, I often aim to provide a calm, welcome and healing environment. I especially love incorporating art. I have had some really cool experiences in my art focused expressive therapy groups; I remember working with a large adolescent group, on one of our female patients’ last day with us, we did a finger-painting group – I laid out a huge sheet of paper and told the teens to create a positive message to others. At the end of the group, I overheard this girl say to her friend, “I am actually happy!”, as she beamed with joy staring at her artwork and painted hands.

Another experience I had that sticks with me happened on our Woman’s Unit; I do a perspective drawing group and on one woman’s first day, she had drawn what basically meant she was in a very dark, dreary and sad place. The following week, on this patients’ last day we repeated the same activity and her and I were both very happy with the changes in her art – she had drawn a brighter image and even said to me she actually felt happier and more hopeful about her future. It was very rewarding.

These are the reasons I work at Smokey Point!