A Collaborative Open Letter to the International Adventure Therapy Community

Will Dobud, Chelsea Maldonado, Graham Pringle

Research output: Resource/documentCommunication


This letter is written in response to the death of a 12-year old boy in the care of a residential Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (Wilderness Therapy) program. This is the second child to have died at Trails Carolina in the last decade and others have died at different programs due to involvement in the United States’ troubled teen industry. We urge practitioners to raise awareness of the harm of youth caused in the name of mental and behavioral healthcare. The non-profit Unsilenced maintains an exhaustive list of program deaths associated with this troubled teen industry, wilderness therapy included.

We publicly declare these practices are contrary to the purpose of mental health care, and the mission and vision of adventure and outdoor therapies.

This letter was written collaboratively by practitioners, researchers, past participants / clients, stakeholders, and those who refer to themselves as survivors of practices described as therapeutic in the outdoors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2024


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