“This has always been the thing when people talk about opening up Riverview. A lot of people say, ‘Oh god we don’t want to open up. That’s a mental place.’ But they’re not listening to what people are saying when they’re talking about reutilizing the facilities and opening up those areas, because what they’d be providing is progressive armored treatment facilities.” – Anna Tremere, President of The Riverview Historical Society
Regardless of how Riverviews facilities are used in the future, there’s no doubt in the wealth of information that can be gained through examining its history and treatment of patients.
A key takeaway when looking at what did work to patients benefit at Riverview, is the sense of purpose and community that was fostered by the many active programs and work opportunities offered during its later years.
Morrow stated through her work she’d found one key factor in improving mental health outcomes for people who are struggling.
“Mental health issues are often highly affected by the social environment that people are living in. So if you’ve got really good housing, if you’ve got income supports, if you’ve got places where people can socialize and be connected to other people. You’re going to have good mental health outcomes.” -Dr. Marina Morrow, Professor at York University
Looking back – despite it’s institutional nature, and the history of abuse that tainted it’s legacy – this is one aspect of Riverview that was undoubtedly done right.