Outpatient to Outdoors | A program for our identified at risk youth

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in San Diego County and Nationally. Recidivism to behavioral health services averages 20- 30%. The Mental Health crisis for youth requires global sustainable services to youth to address the needs.

The Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Healthier Communities at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego collaborated to help adolescent youth (ages 12-17) in San Diego County develop sustainable skills, behaviors and positive relationships in order to improve their mental health, reduce recidivism and increase resiliency.

PROBLEM STATEMENT | How Might We… Help Adolescent Youth (ages 12-17) in San Diego County develop sustainable skills, behaviors and positive relationships in order to improve their mental health, reduce recidivism and increase resiliency.

PROJECT PLAN

EMPATHIZE

  • Literature review of evidenced based practices (EBPs) shows: limited research done on the effects of outdoor programming on the mental health, recidivism into treatment, and overall resilience of youth
  • Statistics: show that 50 children per month are brought to the ED by PERT; ED sees on average 300 children per month for suicidal/homicidal issues. Most therapy lasts 13-26 weeks and carry over of skills is limited to real world experiences.
  • Therapists: Even with the use of evidence-based treatment for parents and children, exposure to organic situations where skills can be practiced is a limiting factor for youth.
  • Parents and Clients: Having a real-life environment to work on the skills developed in treatment is necessary for sustainability of improved behavior. Isolation for clients is common.

1.How can you take the experience today and apply it to tackle challenges you may face in life?

○“It (Rock Climbing) was scary but I kept going and I made it to the top. I can take that experience and apply in to life by thinking things through and going slowly and eventually you’ll make it.”

○“When rock climbing you have to move your body in different ways and look at it from different angles to get up to the top. Just like looking at it (problems and difficulties) from a different angle you can learn how to solve them.”

○“Standing on a rock it was really hard to balance, it can apply to life by just learning to and finding balance.”

○“When climbing and looking down it was really scary and climbing was difficult just like at school. Both are difficult, long and scary but just like rock climbing I can get through and make it.”

2.How do you think activities like these improve your well being?

○“Just being outside is helpful to health and well being. Instead of at home and on your phone or watching TV.”

○“It helps to breathe better outside.”

○“It takes your mind off your problems – like school and homework – and it lets you forget for a little bit.”

DEFINE

Collaboration between Outdoor Outreach and Rady Children’s Hospital to provide innovative, engaging and interactive interventions for youth to integrate their therapeutic goals in a real life environment.

Updated problem statement:

“How might we improve the mental health continuum of care for youth, in order to reduce recidivism, build lasting relationships and develop resiliency”

IDEATE

PROTOTYPE

TEST

In 2020, Rady Children’s Hospital and Outdoor Outreach would like to moderately scale this program up.

  • 4 Cohorts of youth ages 12-17
  • 3 Mental health
  • 1 Medical
  • 8 weeks each

SUMMARY

This innovation moves beyond our traditional system of care and utilizes our partnership between Outdoor Outreach and Rady Children’s Hospital to provide enhanced services to our youth.

Youth develop a network, practice skills in real life situations and build resilience to overcome their mental health issues for lasting impact.

In order to maintain and grow services within the Rady Children’s Hospital and Outdoor Outreach partnership additional funding is required to continue the program for our identified at risk youth.

CONTACT

Interested in learning more about this project? Contact Mary Beth McCabe to learn more via email: mbmoran@rchsd.org

HELP INNOVATE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TODAY

Everyone in our community can contribute their insights and experiences to propose innovative approaches including leveraging technology and connecting people to resources.

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