Filming his journey

Filming his journey

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in Whats-new | 3 comments

Rylee Fraser believes Ranch Ehrlo has changed his life, and he’s made a video to prove it.

Rylee, 13, came to Ranch Ehrlo in January of this year. He spent three months in Appleton House before his parents, Tara Fraser and Shaun Smith, came down from their home in Whitehorse to join him in the Ranch’s Family Treatment Program (FTP). They have been part of the program since April.

“It’s different (in Saskatchewan) – I’m not used to seeing fields instead of trees and mountains,” Rylee said. “But it’s a nice place, and there’s nice people.”

Since being in the FTP, Rylee has been taking videos and photos of his daily life. A budding videographer, he didn’t stop there – Rylee has edited his footage into a professional-looking movie trailer that manages to both showcase the fun he has and capture the distance he and his family travelled to get the help they needed.

Using his iPhone’s built-in movie maker, Rylee has cut together videos and photos from his family’s time in the program and overlaid it with music, text, and a voiceover.

“(Basically, it’s about) how Ranch Ehrlo changed my life,” he said. “I used to have rough times back home, but after getting tons of help and support here, it helped me change.”

“I started it one day actually because I was bored, but then I thought, ‘maybe I should do this more’,” Rylee said of his trailer. “Then I did it – and it turned out really good.”

He worked on the trailer for about a month. He plans to upload it to YouTube and burn it to a disc for FTP director Patti Petrucka to keep, as his way of thanking everyone in the program for all they’ve done.

“I think it’s a great project,” said Rylee’s mom Tara. “I’m really proud of him for all the creative things he’s done.”

Rylee is also writing about his experiences in the Family Treatment Program and hopes to get his work published through the Family Treatment Program’s writing group.

Read More

Connections through sport

Connections through sport

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017 in Our blog | 0 comments

Guest blog by Amanda McConnell, Ehrlo Sport Venture manager

At Ehrlo Sport Venture, we’ve long known about the power of sports to harness community connections and build lasting relationships, but we relish an opportunity to prove it.

Read More

Investing in family

Investing in family

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Then and now, Whats-new | 2 comments

A family from the Yukon has made Regina home while they heal.

familyTara Fraser and Shaun Smith, who are from Whitehorse, have one son named Rylee. He began exhibiting negative behaviours nearly seven years ago. He was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (a brain-based condition that causes people who have it to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics) plus other associated disorders including anxiety, sensory obsessive compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and sleep problems. Eventually, things with their son got so bad that Tara was forced to quit her job to stay home with him, leaving the formerly two-income family’s entire financial load on Shaun’s shoulders.

Tara and Shaun tried a number of services to help their son’s behaviour, but quickly realized that they needed something that would allow their whole family to participate in the healing process.

“We’d done other programs – they were great programs, but I was really looking for something family-based,” explained Tara, who advocated for two years for her family to attend the Ranch’s Family Treatment Program (FTP).

The program aims to improve safety and functioning so families can remain together. Intensive in-home services are provided that assist the family in obtaining knowledge and skills including: counselling in child development, effective parenting, mood management, communication, life skills, budgeting, and how to access community resources.

Eventually, their son was referred to Ranch Ehrlo’s residential treatment program and began living at Appleton House in Pilot Butte in January of 2017.

“He did really well there,” Tara said. “That’s part of the routine with him – he did really well in any program he was in, with other people. That’s part of the reason I was looking for a family program, because it’s us that he takes his anger, frustration, and anxiety out on.”

In April, Tara and Shaun made the move to Regina and the entire family entered the Family Treatment Program. While no two families who enter the program are alike, Tara and Shaun are unique in that they do not face many of the issues that confront other parents in the program. Rather, they were simply looking for a family-focused way of helping their son.

“We had more support in the first three days here than we had in years at home,” Tara said of the FTP.

The pair had an immediate appreciation for the approach taken by FTP staff to helping their family.

“We’ve made so many great connections with the staff,” Tara explained. “They aren’t there to tell us what to do; they’re there to support us and help us learn new strategies. But it’s all up to us, really.”

The program’s equine therapy component was a favourite of the family.

“Deanna (from the Regina Equestrian Centre) is really good at incorporating how you work with a horse, and turning that around to learn how you can communicate with your children,” Tara said. “You’re learning how to work with something that can’t communicate with you, so you have to think outside the box – that just really resonated with us.”

They credit the FTP for teaching them communication skills as well, a necessity with Shaun working out of town.

“It’s hard to communicate over the phone,” Tara explained, noting that they learned the importance of debriefing with one another.

“We gained a lot by coming down here,” Shaun added, explaining that they now feel confident they will be able to continue the positive habits they learned once they return to their regular routine.

“We fought to be here so we’re 100 per cent in. We participate in everything. We’re focused,” Tara said. “When we fight that hard for something you’re definitely going to give it your all.”

While Shaun has returned home to go back to work, Tara and their son will remain in the FTP until a discharge date has been set.

“If you looked at our family a year ago, we couldn’t have imagined this change,” Shaun said. “(The program) is life changing.”

Read More

20 years of going forward with pride in the North

20 years of going forward with pride in the North

Posted by on Jul 28, 2017 in Whats-new | 0 comments

In 1997, Ranch Ehrlo Society’s Buckland campus, located just outside the city of Prince Albert, officially opened. But the idea, and the need, for a northern campus had been around long before.

As far back as the early ‘70s, the agency felt the need for a presence closer to our client base in northern Saskatchewan. Twice, attempts were made to establish what would one day become the Buckland campus – in 1974, financial commitments were finalized but the progress on the program was halted, mainly due to staffing concerns; and in 1984, government support for the campus was pulled after concerns from citizens in the area.

Flagel House

Flagel House

In 1997, the dream was finally realized with the opening of the Buckland campus under the direction of Susan Luedtke. The first clients lived in Flegal House, a pre-existing home on the property. Alex Guy House, the first new group home to be built on the campus, was officially opened the following year.

In 2001, Klassen House – the second home on the campus – was opened. Three years later, in 2004, Ranch Ehrlo expanded its’ presence in the area with the construction and opening of Matheson House, the only group home located within in the city of Prince Albert. This was made easier by the community programs already being run out of the Buckland campus, such as the OHL – a spin-off of the hugely popular league being run in Regina by Ehrlo Sport Venture.

Randy

Randy

In April of 2007, Randy O’Shaughnessy became the director of residential treatment for the northern programs. He stayed in the role until September 2011.

“I believe the campus is necessary for a few different reasons,” he said. “The opportunity to provide a treatment-based environment in a similar environment to (northern client’s) home environments, is extremely advantageous. The learning opportunities for the client and the staff are increased,” he said.

“From another point of view, I think that having a northern campus is one of the things that differentiates us, or did at the point that it was developed, from other facilities – we have a variety of locations that had a consistent, congruent philosophy base but different environments.”

Wall display at Klassen House

Wall display at Klassen House

The northern campus is unique in many ways. Like all our campuses, it is out of town a ways – but northern Saskatchewan provides a unique wilderness backdrop.

“Our property in Buckland is in at the edge of a national forest – so if a youth was having a problem, I’d say, ‘let’s go for a walk’. And within two minutes, you’re walking in the heart of a deep forest. It’s very calming for the kids – particularly the kids from the North, because it’s similar to what they know,” Randy said.

Buckland campus

Buckland campus

***

Keep an eye on our website for more stories about our Buckland campus as we celebrate 20 years of going forward with pride in northern Saskatchewan, and join us on September 19th from 3 – 5 p.m. as we celebrate with a barbeque at the campus!

Read More