You asked us
Having a child who is sick and requires hospital care can turn your world upside down. What resources are available at Children’s Hospital at LHSC to help patients and their families cope with the anxiety and stress of care and treatment?
Staff and physicians at Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre provide care during more than 160,000 patient visits each year, but it’s important to remember that providing health care can extend beyond the treatment of physical illness. Children, youth and their families also benefit when they are granted emotional supports, such as a sense of empowerment in their care and treatment, avenues for expression and a sense of normalcy. Along with a range of helpful services and staff such as psychologists, dieticians and social workers (to name just a few), the following programs are helping to make a positive impact on the emotional welfare of patients and their families.
The Art Therapy program is available to patients and their siblings. Under the observation and guidance of an Art Therapist, participants create art that allows them to express their feelings and are able to focus on activities that are outside of the reason for their visit.
The Therapeutic Clown program provides patients and their families with play, fun and humour within the health-care environment, by creating safe play spaces that support emotional expression, empowerment and social interaction, helping to minimize stress. Our therapeutic clown, ‘Ollie Pale’ offers patients a reminder that they are children and have the right to play.
The Music Therapy program is adaptable to any patient regardless of age, severity of illness or disability. An accredited Music Therapist places the focus on music that serves to strengthen overall patient health, functioning and well-being. Participants may listen and talk about music, record or try out a variety of instruments, sing, write songs, relax, play or improvise and each session uses music of the patient’s choice.
Pro Bono Law: Ontario (PBLO)
PBLO at Children’s Hospital is a medical-legal partnership created to help low- to moderate-income families and legal guardians whose child is being treated (on an inpatient or an outpatient basis) to identify and resolve legal problems that can impact a child’s health or the family’s ability to care for that child. Some areas of focus include (but are not limited to) employment, immigration, education, access to social housing and human rights.
Child Life Specialist
Certified child life specialists are trained in child development and can offer age-appropriate information on child and youth reactions during illness, treatment, procedures and/or hospitalization. They can help patients and their families understand and manage the effects of these challenging and/or unexpected experiences
by working together to provide information, support and guidance that meets unique needs.
Paediatric Family Resource Centre & Parent Hour Program
The Paediatric Family Resource Centre is open to patients, their family members, staff and physicians. The centre’s staff is made up of family advisors who are available to help locate information about specific conditions, parenting, coping, in-hospital and community resources. Patients and families can also access the internet, fax or just sit and chat. Stemming from the resource centre, Parent Hour is a program that runs in several areas at Children’s Hospital and is facilitated by family advisors for parents and their family members to take a break, have a snack or coffee and talk with other families about a variety of topics.