INNER ROADS

EMPOWERED BY NATURE

About

InnerRoads began in 2001 as an independent organization. In 2005, it was adopted by Youth Homes, a non-profit organization providing services to children and families in Western Montana. Due to both federal and state budget cuts in 2018, Youth Homes is no longer able to fund the operations of this program. 

 

Inner Roads now functions as a separate nonprofit entity, developed by the experienced former guides, therapist, and logistics coordinators with a mission to promote wellness through experiential opportunities and connection with the outdoors. Enthusiastically supported by our community and volunteers, our aim is to provide quality, affordable, and effective intervention for at-risk teens and their families.

It is our mission to provide disadvantaged youth with affordable outdoor therapeutic experiences that accelerate growth, healing, and empowerment. 

Why Wilderness?

While many families benefit from common services, such as weekly therapy sessions, many more require support and opportunities beyond the capacity of a single professional or office. As the nation seeks further options in therapy, outdoor programs are utilizing clinical studies to create evidence-based therapeutic approaches for teenagers in the backcountry wilderness. Unsurprisingly, studies have found that teenagers leave these multi-week expeditions with:

  • increased self-esteem

  • improved social & communication skills

  • heightened empathy

  • strengthened drive & purpose

  • accountability

  • dedication to the environment and community

  • decreased high school drop-out rates

  • a marked reduction in: depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors, criminal activity, & family dysfunction 

Our founders’ collective seventeen years of experience in wilderness therapy also aligns with these findings.

 

Why Inner Roads?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of therapeutic wilderness programs in the country costs each family approximately

$20-30,000.

This is due to the application of “for-profit” business models to mental health services, and clearly precludes many of the most dire situations from receiving some of the most effective help.

 

At Inner Roads, we are unwilling to accept that finances be the deciding factor between barely surviving and thriving as a person. As a non-profit entity, we intend to ensure that youth in poverty, many of whom experience the most extensive trauma, abuse, neglect, and mental health issues in our nation, are equally able to receive guidance as they build insight, develop self-worth, and gain agency in their lives. We offer 2 high school credits to program graduates to support continued academic success.

 

Further, we have found that the pristine wilderness areas of Montana are not only ideal for fostering healthy challenges and connection to the environment, but also provide essential access to mental health services for a population who is suffering at some the highest rates in the nation.

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