Mental health problems are becoming increasingly common among young people. Engaging youth in mental health treatments can be difficult. Combining therapy with time in nature and challenging outdoor activities – referred to as Adventure Therapy – can help.
Adventure therapy combines exposure with nature along with mental health supports. This approach can helpful both for youth at risk for mental health problems or those diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Human Nature Adventure Therapy in Australia recently received an award for their work with youth with mental health problems. Their organization offers a range of programs for youth with mental health and behavioural problems. It is a great example of the potential benefits of Adventure Therapy for youth.
The evidence for Adventure Therapy with children is still developing. However, the early evidence suggests that it can be potentially helpful for a range of mental health problems.
We still need more research on Adventure Therapy in Canada. However, there is increasing interest in this type of therapy with children and I anticipate research on this topic to grow in the future.
Most people can benefit from increasing their time in nature. Adventure Therapy is also an example of how nature can be used as part of treatments for mental health conditions.