Trails Carolina, the leader in wilderness therapy for pre-teens and teens, teamed up with the Arkansas Institute of Developmental Science and the Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy to assess the impacts on youth and their families following the Trails Carolina Therapeutic Wilderness Program.
The study was conducted over five years and is ongoing to ensure an overall view of the efficacy of their nature-based course. Not only did they look at the improvement of attendees mental health, but they also dived deeper into the impacts on the students families.
And, finally, the results are in.
The team analyzed everything from the familial environment at their base camp to the multidisciplinary team of expert staff at Trails to the wilderness itself. No longer is this a case of believing that building bonds with nature constructs character and improves family life, but rather, knowing it does.
A mere 12 months after graduating from the Trails Carolina Therapeutic Wilderness Program, 86% of attendees displayed improvement in anxiety symptoms, and a staggering 93% showed a decrease in depression symptoms.
Alongside these heartwarming percentages, suicidal thoughts, substance use, and symptoms of ADHD decreased in 98%, 96%, and 97% of students, respectively.
The development in graduates mental health and Trails Carolinas family-centric approach to treatment has significantly enhanced four aspects of home life, specifically:
The overall health of the family unit
As studies outside of this have shown, a happy, healthy household equates to an increasingly positive school experience.
With that said, its no shock that the five-year study showed their Wilderness Program to improve school functioning, excitement, and attendance. Only 4% of treatment graduates showed school refusal signs 12 months after completing the program, and only 17% showed academic functioning problems.
Trails Carolina Therapeutic Wilderness Program has an overwhelmingly positive effect on graduates, their prospects, and the health of their homes.
The statistics speak for themselves but so do the reviews posted by former students.
Graduates recognize the challenges they faced before the program and have reported that the new skills learned throughout their time with Trails Carolina have given them the tools to change.
The study looked at the effects after 8 to 12 months. Thus, one can only assume these graduates have continuously brighter, happier, healthier times ahead.
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