Psychiatric & Medical Services
We recognize that treatment and healing are often aided by medication which can help clients to overcome depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental health challenges. Some of our clients come to the program already having found a medication or combination of medications that assist in their treatment. Others need modifications to their medications and/or need to start a new medication in order to maximize the benefits of therapy.
Juniper Canyon has a full medical staff including a program psychiatrist who conducts full psychiatric assessments, does medication follow-up appointments, as well as psychiatric consultations. Additionally, we have a full-time, on-site nurse, a Medical Director and access to a local medical clinic. These professionals not only have expertise in their specialties but also have experience treating mental health issues in an outdoor therapeutic environment. Working together as a team, they can assess, prescribe, modify, and monitor all client medications to make sure they are of maximum benefit to each individual client.
Wilderness Therapy is a rigorous endeavor. Hiking, carrying a backpack, climbing, canyoneering, and mountain biking all require that the client is in good enough health to actively participate. That being said, we don’t require clients to enter the program in peak physical condition. For most clients who have been struggling with mental health issues and/or substance abuse, working out at the gym has not been a top priority. Accordingly, we scale the level of physical exertion for our adventures each week to match the capacity of the clients in the group.
However, we want to make sure everyone is healthy enough to be safe doing all the outdoor activities. Therefore, every client receives a full physical exam at the time of intake at the local medical clinic. Additionally, if medical issues arise after intake, our field staff are trained to triage and refer concerns to our full-time, on-site nursing staff. We have a nurse either at the base facility, in the field, or on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our Medical Director is also the administrator of the local medical clinic and he and his staff not only conduct the physical exams, but are available to address any medical concerns that may arise. We have access to specialists, dentists, and emergency care, including hospitalization if necessary. Having guides with the clients 24/7 who are trained in wilderness first aid increases the safety and speed with which any medical concerns can be addressed.