September 2021 NATSAPPress Release

Upcoming In-Person Conferences, New Member Resources, and more!

We are pleased to send you the latest release of our NATSAPPress Newsletter. We have some exciting information to share with you. 

Please feel free to distribute it to your colleagues and friends.

Research study/wilderness therapy scholarships

The University of New Hampshire is currently conducting a three-year research study to examine the effect of various therapeutic interventions for adolescents who are suffering from anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. The Principal Investigator of the UNH research team is Dr. Michael Gass, Professor & Director of the UNH OBH Research Center. The study has been reviewed and approved by the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Institutional Review Board (IRB) and follows the 2010 Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT).

The research team is soliciting families who have an adolescent (13-17 years old) experiencing issues of depression, anxiety, and/or substance use disorders. Interested participants will be initially screened to see if they meet the criteria to be eligible for the project. If eligible, participants will be randomly placed into either a 12-week outdoor behavioral health care program or traditional cognitive behavioral therapy program. In return for agreeing to participate in the project, families will be provided with scholarship funds to defray some of the costs of the program based on family income. For example, families with an income of less than $47,000 who are participating in the OBH program will receive a 90% scholarship. Participant from families with an income of less than $47,000 who are participating in the standard CBT program will also receive and 90% scholarship. Additional scholarship funds for qualifying families will also be available through the Sky’s the Limit foundation and the Parker Bounds Johnson foundation.

Participating OBH programs are located in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. All of these participating programs have met the criteria and standards of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare accreditation program from the Association for Experiential Education.

Interested parties can contact Dr. Gass at mgass(at)unh(dot)edu

NATSAP Recaps 2020 Election Results

What a crazy election year this has been. NATSAP always strives to keep members up to date with the most relevant information when it comes to government advocacy. Here we have outlined election results for the Presidency, House of Representatives, Senate, and Governors.

In the article, you will also find relevant legislation including bills on mental health and
COVID-19. The GAP (Government Advocacy Pages) will also be updated by the end of the
year with the most up to date information on legislation by state, information on the bills
themselves, representatives backing that legislation, and how to contact your elected officials.

As always, please reach out to us at the home office if you have any questions!

NATSAP Member Spotlight Submission Guidelines

Join us in our NATSAP Member Spotlight Program! 

The NATSAP Member Program will highlight NATSAP member programs and the unique work they do. We want to offer an opportunity for you to share your story with your colleagues and the NATSAP community, inspire future NATSAP members, and strengthen awareness fo our collective mission. 

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling deadline. Descriptions will be selected in order based upon date received. New postings will appear on our social media pages with a link back to the program’s website.

Submission requirements: 

  1. 1 spotlight bio (maximum 300 words) 
  2. 1-3 photos (1 required, 3 maximum)
  3. Contact email

Questions to answer in your spotlight include: 

  1. Who you  are
  2. Who you serve
  3. What makes your program unique
  4. Special events (either upcoming or recently held)
  5. Number of years as a NATSAP member

Thank you for participating! 

Submitting a Spotlight Bio

Any program/school wishing to submit an article for this newsletter MUST be a current NATSAP member program/school in good standing

Please use the link below to be take to our submission page.

https://natsap.org/Member/Resources/Member-Spotlight/Member-Spotlight-Form.aspx

We Are NATSAP : September 2020

We Are NATSAP

Highlighting the achievements of our members.

In this edition, we are honored to have 16 of our member programs sharing their exciting news with us through our latest edition of We Are NATSAP. Read all about their celebrations, accomplishments and collaborations in our newsletter.

Interested in participating?

Send in your latest accomplishments and upcoming projects or share a story in our next edition of We Are NATSAP. This is the perfect place to shine a light on your program and/or clients’ achievements.

If you are interested in submitting an article for the newsletter, please submit your article and accompanying image(s) to Shanita Smith at shanita@natsap.org by Friday, December 11.

All articles must be received by 11:59 PM ET. This edition does not have a theme and will be released on Friday, December 18.

We are looking forward to sharing your stories!

Due to limited space and NATSAP policy, we are unable to share advertisements for admissions, job announcements and classified ads in our newsletters.

Ultra Cyclists Go for Records While Raising Awareness and Funding for Wilderness Therapy

Four world-class ultra cyclists known as the Soaring Coots have come together to raise awareness of the mental health challenges facing youth today, the healing work of wilderness therapy and to raise funds for Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF). Therapeutic Wilderness programs exist to provide a rich, intensive, clinically-proven therapeutic experience for a child and their family struggling with mental health and addiction, providing tools to get better. However, this level of care is costly, and beyond the reach of many families. STLF provides much needed financial support to families in need while their partner wilderness programs match their funding with a reduction in tuition.

During these crazy Covid-19 times, The Soaring Coots have found a unique way to pay it forward and help youth in crisis continue to get the support of wilderness therapy so many of them desperately need. Each of the riders has their own story to tell, facing mental health challenges in their own families. Riding has become their platform to make a difference. They are now well on their way to their goal of winning the Mountain West ultra cup and raising $50,000 to help transform the lives of youth in crisis.

The team crushed the first race of the three race Mountain West series in July – Race Across Oregon. They won the race and set a new course record. Coming up quickly now are the final two races of the series:

  1. Hoo Doo 500 (August 29-30): 500 Miles, targeting sub 24 hours (the current overall team record.) – Riding out of St George Utah, this course has a very fast record and elevations as high as 9,000 feet – three of the Soaring Coots live at sea level! It will take everything they have to both win and attempt to beat the speed set by a much younger team.
  2. Silver State 508 (Sept 18-20): 508 miles, targeting sub 25 hours. A 508 mile route across Nevada. – This is a fast course record to attempt on a course with huge temperature changes and a lot of climbing.

Mark and Shane are both solo winners of this race (2018 and 2019 respectively). For Paul and Yann it will be their first time. Each rider will have to be on their best form to make this happen. The team acknowledges that as hard as it can get for them during their races, it is nothing compared to what young people are facing when they get to the wilderness and start their healing journey.

Hard work, dedication and commitment is the commonality.

If you would like to cheer the Soaring Coots on during their adventure, learn more about them individually & DONATE to help break the barrier of cost for wilderness therapy:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/soaring-coots

NATSAP Member Spotlight: Hillside

Hillside® offers treatment for youths who have struggled with primary psychiatric disorders. Based in Atlanta, we provide psychiatric and therapeutic care for all gender clients, ages 5-25, in our residential, day, and intensive in-home therapy programs.

The first, and still only, residential program to become a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Program™ in the nation, Hillside’s clinicians are trained in DBT for Children, DBT Prolong-Exposure Protocol, Radically Opened DBT, and DBT-PTSD.

Hillside stays on the forefront of treatment through partnerships with several universities. We are proud of our strong clinical program and our effort to meet the challenge of make quality treatment accessible. We recently launched the Hillside Atlanta Foundation to help fund scholarships for treatment, training, and research in behavioral health.



Hillside has been a member of NATSAP since 2017.

For more information: http://www.hside.org http://www.HillsideAtlantaFoundation.org

Contact Email: gakers@hside.org

Glenholm School- Entire Campus Becomes Sensory Gym

Press Release- For Immediate Release

Glenholme student playing on inflatable ball

When the Coronavirus thwarted the Glenholme School’s plan to create a sensory room, the school’s clinicians had to think fast and pivot. The space reserved for this purpose was needed for social distancing. The Glenholme School is a 52 year old co-ed therapeutic boarding school for students 10-21 years old with learning disabilities, high functioning autism, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other learning challenges and mood disorders.

Children who are gifted and those with ADHD, and Autism have a prevalence of sensory processing difficultythat is much higher than in the general population. They may be unable to modulate their activity level, and their level of excitement. For example, noises may hurt their ears and bright lights may really disturb them.

Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into responses. For those with difficulty processing sensory information, sensory information goes into the nervous system but does not get interpreted accurately for appropriate responses.

Senses are the first things that a baby experiences. They form the foundation for interpreting the world. The brain processes sensory information before any other input, like language. Deep touch and pressure such as swaddling a baby is calming to the infant. Watching a mobile offers stimulating sensory input. Other kinds of sensory input provides a centering or focusing result.

One area occupational therapists work with children on are sensory issues. They teach them how to soothe themselves and how to help them manage responses to sensory input. 

The Clinical Director, Movement/Dance Therapist, OT and one of the social workers at the Glenholme School have been working to infuse the school with methods to help students calm their bodies when excited, center themselves and energize themselves, using ordinary supplies that might be outdoors on campus or inside the cottages in the kitchens. They are putting together a syllabus, and training manual to teach the boarding staff how to lead the youngsters through different somatic and sensory exercises. Many of these activities are ones that the residential staff already do with students, but may not have had the conceptual framework in which to place these activities.

Bike riding, playing on swings, balance activities on logs or curbs, hiking with a purpose, like “ABC hiking,” twister, climbing trees, tumbling, making slime, or baking bread and cookies are all examples of everyday activities that provide sensory input.

Staff have conducted these activities routinely, and may be intuitively aware that students become engaged in these activities. They are now being taught on a conceptual level which activities should be used when, and how these activities evoke which type of response: calming, energizing, or centering.

Kudos to the adaptability of the clinical and residential staff at the Glenholme School for turning around a difficult situation in a way that benefits the students.