Mendota Mental Health Institute - Therapeutic Recreation Internship Program Guidelines and Requirements


Internship Guidelines
The Rehabilitative Services Department at Mendota Mental Health Institute (MMHI) provides year-round internship programs for students in therapeutic recreation. The following process is used to communicate with, screen, interview and place students in our program:

  1. A student should make initial contact two months to one year before the affiliation start date. Send a letter of interest with a resume to the Director Rehabilitative Services.

  2. If an internship is available, the student will be sent a packet including a questionnaire, student handbook, and housing information.

  3. The questionnaire must be returned within two weeks. It will be reviewed by the Director of Rehabilitative Services and the Therapeutic Recreation Student Coordinator.

  4. After the questionnaire is reviewed, the student needs to contact three staff therapists for interviews to determine the best placement for his or her internship. The Director of Rehabilitative Services, along with the three interviewing therapists, and the Therapeutic Recreation Student Coordinator will consider the student's interests and provide a placement in the most appropriate program area.

  5. A confirmation letter will be sent to the student identifying the term of the internship, program assignment and supervisor.

General Requirements for all Student Interns
While participating in an internship at MMHI, each student is required to:

  • Keep a journal
  • Meet regularly with the supervisor
  • Visit two Mendota units (four hours minimum per visit)
  • Visit two outside agencies (four hours minimum per visit)
  • Give an in-service (30-45 minutes minimum; topic must be approved by the Director of Rehab Services)
  • Meet documentation requirements of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) at MMHI (e.g., assessments, treatment plans, weekly and monthly summaries, use of protocol format, flow sheets, annual updates and evaluations)
  • Develop treatment groups and recreation participation activities
  • Gain knowledge of the multidisciplinary team process
  • Gain knowledge of the Rehabilitative Services procedures and unit policies
  • Gain knowledge of diagnostic groupings (e.g., treatment progression, symptomatology, etc.)
  • Participate in department and unit meetings
  • Complete an internship project, approved by the Therapeutic Recreation Student Supervisor
  • Attend an exit interview with the Director of Rehab Services

Student Supervisor Requirements
The Rehabilitative Services Department has established requirements for supervision of Therapeutic Recreation Interns at MMHI. Each supervisor of a Therapeutic Recreation Intern must:

  • Be a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).
  • Have two years work experience as a CTRS.
  • Have approval from the Director of the Rehabilitative Services Department,Unit Manager, and his or her supervisor.
  • Complete medical records documentation requirements.
  • Meet assessment, treatment plan, and progress note documentation requirements.
  • Meet the expectations of the Department Organization Performance Improvement Plan.
  • Develop a system for documenting recreation participation activities conducted on the assigned unit

Student Benefits
MMHI provides meals for Interns. Housing is also available on a limited basis.

If you have questions about this program you may call:

Director of Rehabilitative Services at 608-301-1601 or
Therapeutic Recreation Student Coordinator at 608-301-1630.


Last Revised: July 28, 2015