The Cliffside/Gatehouse program is designed to assist patients with cognitive development as well as social-emotional development. Activities include:
Play Skills and Activity Groups: Occur on a daily basis. Discussions, read-alouds and games are used to help educate patients about age-appropriate play and social skills. Patients participate in a variety of cooperative games and activities that encourage and develop tolerance, communication, responsibility, cooperation, self-confidence and respect.
Cooking Group: Occurs weekly on Saturdays. Patients participate in an on-unit cooking group with staff to promote cooperative interactions with peers and staff. Children bake or cook different treats that expose patients to cooking safety.
Pet Therapy: Occurs three times per week. Trainers visit with trained dogs. The visit is used to help patients calm down, stay in control, talk, take responsibility, lessen depression and anxiety, and learn to be patient. The pet therapists work with individual patients as well as with small groups.
Physical Activity Groups: Occur on a daily basis. Physical activity groups include but are not limited to group games, team sports, nature walks, fitness course, yard time and playground. The various activities promote positive energy release, increased mood, increased fitness level and increased muscular strength and endurance. The activities provide training for the patients in leadership, followership, and cooperation with peers.
Yoga: Patients practice breathing techniques, as well as poses designed especially for children. By practicing these yoga elements, patients work toward building focus, concentration, and management of feelings and emotions.
Arts & Crafts: Patients participate in age-appropriate art projects to promote cooperative and expressive interactions with peers. These sessions give staff an opportunity to educate patients about various topics, including how to use creative activities as coping skills. The children's artwork is displayed on the unit or sent home to families.
Health Education: Each week a different topic is discussed including hand washing, oral hygiene, medication education, good personal hygiene, and other health related topics specifically relevant to the patients on each unit.