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Inspiring Change at Archway Outpatient Clinic

Date: September 11, 2013

CAMH’s Archway Outpatient Clinic has evolved and continues to improve thanks to ARIDO Committee members who have redesigned a healing environment, with the help of a group of volunteers and generous donations from the interior design and construction industry.


Pictured above: Archway Designers (L-R): Elsie Cheng (ARIDO); Dayna Bradley, a member of the Planning Committee; Naji Mourani (ARIDO); Anna
Stranks (ARIDO); ARIDO Registrar Sharon Portelli; Sherry Bilenduke (ARIDO); and Mahesh Baboram, a member of the Planning Committee.


Archway Outpatient clinic staff were looking for guidance in improving their facilities to make for a healthier environment. Sharon Portelli, Registar for ARIDO became involved with the project after meeting with Jim Davey, Coordinator of CAMH's Corporate Volunteer program, who introduced her to Joan Loughran, Recreation Therapist at the Archway Clinic. Archway called on ARIDO members to help them best use the small budget they had to improve the space. But Sharon, whom Jim describes as a woman with compassion who understood the importance of creating a space of recovery and wellness, thought they could do more. She discussed the request with colleagues and members of the interior design community including Mahesh Baboram (Interface Floor) and Dayna Bradley (Brigholme Interiors Group). Mahesh and Dayna had been looking for a cause to which they could make a contribution. Upon a visit to the facility, the need was apparent and they knew more could be done with the right people on board. With Sharon they recruited ARIDO Registered members for a design committee.

The response for volunteers was so overwhelming that Sharon had to turn some people away and select those who had past experience with CAMH and understood the needs of the health care environment, as well as designers with office design experience.

"One thing I've learned with this association is that our members and the industry are very generous in giving back to really important causes," she says. "We really took a shining to the Archway staff’s dedication to their clients. Every time you meet with them they are always so positive. We wanted to do something to improve the environment not just for the clients but also for the staff for helping to support the clients of the Archway Clinic," she says.

The majority of the work by the painters and other workers is being accomplished over the weekend, the Archway design committee have the opportunity to take a look at how the space is evolving and improving.

Sharon Portelli, Registrar for ARIDO, says that they receive emails from the
Archway staff expressing what a huge difference the changes to the space are making for them and their clients. "Knowing we’re playing a part in improving the lives of clients at CAMH who are engaging in Archway for support in dealing with their day-to-day struggles with schizophrenia makes us feel good about what we’re doing," she says

The work is scheduled to be mostly completed by September with some smaller ongoing enhancements after that.

Read more here on the project and design change