Graduates of Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness’s Emerald Arrow program for young adults offer words of encouragement and hope for struggling teens, young adults and families considering outdoor treatment options
CLAYTON, GA, October 20, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness is an outdoor mental health treatment program for teens, young adults and families that is located in the Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. Celebrating its 5th anniversary in October of 2023, Emerald Arrow, Blue Ridge Wilderness’s young adult outdoor treatment program, serves individuals ages 18-30 and their families.
Often, young adults in Emerald Arrow are seeking a gap year or gap semester program where they can connect to nature, embrace mindfulness practices and work on navigating different mental health challenges. According to Emerald Arrow Program Director and Primary Therapist, Anne Wilzbacher, LCMHC, “Young adult clients seeking wilderness therapy treatment at Blue Ridge are typically feeling overwhelmed or stuck in their day-to-day lives. We often work with young adults experiencing issues related to anxiety, depression, substance use, ‘failure to launch’, difficulty succeeding academically in college or university, and/or trouble finding work or an academic path that suits their personal goals and values.”
Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Blue Ridge Wilderness’s young adult program, program alumni have offered to share their experiences, successes and outcomes since graduating from wilderness therapy.
Abby, who graduated from Emerald Arrow in 2021, shared, “This program changed my life… I have so much respect for [Anne] and I am so grateful for the help I received in Emerald Arrow.” She continued, “I graduated college, and I’m moving to London next month to pursue a career in the music business. That wouldn’t have been possible without Anne helping me find myself and who I want to be and how to live a life in a healthy and authentic way.”
Another 2022 Emerald Arrow graduate, Breezy, said, “Right now, I’m in Switzerland, working as a hiking guide, and I could not be where I am without Emerald Arrow and Blue Ridge. It is something that impacts my life on a daily basis— I know that I am strong and capable because of the things I learned at Blue Ridge.” She shared, “This program has given me my very best friends, and I get emotional when I look at my life in the last year… I’m so grateful for where I am.”
Discussing the importance of supporting students beyond their time in treatment, Wilzbacher explained, “Emerald Arrow is committed to creating lasting outcomes for our clients and their families; We do everything we can to foster a thriving and accessible alumni network for our graduates.”
Students at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Emerald Arrow often face challenges related to low self-esteem and difficulty navigating social or familial relationships. Sarah, who attended Emerald Arrow in 2022, shared, “Words can’t describe how much I miss the program—I think about it every single day. It’s crazy to think that one of the darkest times in my life became such a gratifying experience, one where I was able to learn that I’m worth loving.”
Wilzbacher concludes, “In the past 5 years, our program graduates have evolved into a network of enthusiastic alumni who continually reach out to me and each other to reminisce, and share how far they have come since leaving the program. It really is a sight to behold, and we are consistently humbled by how far our amazing alumni students have come in their lives.”
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness offers clinically driven wilderness therapy programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skill, a highly flexible nomadic wilderness therapy model, licensed wilderness therapy assessment and multiple treatment options for struggling teens ages 13-18 as well as young adults ages 18-30 in the Emerald Arrow program. Blue Ridge’s individualized approach, family support and commitment to service translate to an unparalleled experience and better outcomes for adolescents and families. To learn more about Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, visit blueridgewilderness.com or reach out to the Blue Ridge Admissions Team.
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