After the past two years of intense stress and frequent changes in schedules and models of education, Taos Behavioral Health (TBH) gave its youth clients a wonderful summer. As school starts again and our services return to in-school and after-school sessions, we reflect with satisfaction on the summer.
New Buildings Enhance Program
TBH has provided a summer program for the past 6 years, but his summer was especially successful. With occupying our new buildings on Canon, each age group had a space they could help decorate and identify with. This was especially important to the middle and high school clients who had the west building to themselves and appreciated the chance for individual, small and large group sessions. They felt comfortable and safe and could call the space their own.
Strong Therapeutic Opportunities
An important therapeutic goal of our summer programs is to give the youth experiences in new challenging environments where they must learn new skills and process the anxiety which comes with unknowns. Staff can observe their responses to new challenges and teach them how to process new fear. Social skills can be enhanced, and teamwork can be encouraged. Thus, therapeutic services have enhanced power.
One challenge occurred early in the summer program when the Fire Response Team took over the Penasco School as their base of operations. Our Penasco summer then had to be re-located. With the support of the Christian Academy, we were able to locate our program there, schedule transportation services and help the youth deal with the fears around the fire’s destruction.
Using Local Resources
TBH staff make a concerted effort to help the participants learn about the natural resources and community services in our midst—most of which they have never visited. Over the program weeks, youth were able to take multiple hiking trips in the mountains, visit Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, and enjoy Uncle Cliffs Amusement Park in Albuquerque. They regularly visited the library in Taos and took advantage of local parks and museums.
A Good Summary
In comparison to 2021, attendance at the summer program increased by 35% due to the new spaces and the carefully planned structured program. A total of 500 Students were served from Angel Fire, Red River, Questa, Penasco and Taos. In previous years, there was very limited participation from middle and high school students—but this summer there was a strong showing. They reported that the new space really made them comfortable and proud. All the students return to school this fall with happy memories and enhanced skills.
Taos Behavioral Health has the largest licensed and credentialed behavioral health staff in northern New Mexico. We can be reached at 575-758-4297, www.Taosbehavioralhealth.org
or at 105B for scheduled appointments.
Mary McPhail Gray can be reached at 575-779-3126 or at firstname.lastname@example.org