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VA Salt Lake City Health Care System

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Recreational Therapy

What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation Therapy is a systematic process that utilizes recreation interventions based on the assessed interests, abilities and needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions.

What is the Purpose of Recreation Therapy at the VA?

The recreation therapy process at the VA restores, improves or maintains physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in order to facilitate full participation in the lives of our Veterans. Recreation Therapy at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System offers a wide range of services in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Inpatient Mental Health, PTSD/MST, Substance Abuse and Medical Foster Home Care.

What Does CTRS Mean?

A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is a professional Recreation Therapist who has met established educational and experiential standards for certification set by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

What are the Outcomes of Recreation Therapy at the VA?

A significant number of positive health outcomes have been found in the VA’s Recreation Therapy programs including:

Improved Physical Health

  • weight loss
  • muscle strength
  • balance

Improved Psychosocial Health

  • community reintegration
  • decreased stress
  • social independence

Improved Mental Health

  • less boredom
  • positive release of emotion
  • constructive use of leisure time

National Veterans Programs held annually:

  • National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
  • National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic
  • National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
  • To receive a monthly email newsletter announcing all current groups, events and activities, please contact your recreation therapists.

How can you participate?

Contact your VASLCHCS recreation therapist to find out what fun and exciting programs they have. Programs vary depending on time of year.

Contact Info


  • Bldg. 8

Contact Number(s)

  • 801-582-1565 Ext. 1559

Hours of Operation

  • 8:00am - 4:30pm