Imagine for a moment that you are once again a teenager. Perhaps you were argumentative, defied rules at school and home or engaged in other behaviors that made your parents more than cringe. Your parents took away certain privileges, layered on more rules as their frustration with you grew. They told you to change or else. Or else what you wondered.
One summer night, like countless others, you were home asleep in your bed having successfully avoided your parent’s lights out at 11:00 pm rule by a few hours. Your sleep is interrupted by voices in your room that are not those of your parents. Two men who could have passed for bouncers or law enforcement tell you that they are from the transport service for the wilderness camp that your parents are sending you to. Your parents stand in the doorway and nod, saying that this is what is best for you. As you are led to a car, your parents are nowhere in sight and likely do not even hear your pleas to not go. But go you will from the car with blacked out windows, to the flight to Utah to the wildness camp for troubled teens.
You hike for miles each day and lay exhausted every night on the ground under a hurriedly pitched tent. You quickly learn that the camp staff responds to complaints of hunger or exhaustion with verbal and physical humiliation in front of the group. Every 2 weeks you see a counselor for an hour who absurdly asks how you are doing. Your parents hope this expensive camp will change your behavior; you question your ability to survive as fellow campers share stories of other who died by suicide.
This likely never happened to you. It did happen to the high school senior in my neighborhood who I spent many an hour with as our dogs played together. A good kid that just could never get to school on time, decided to take a hiatus from brushing his teeth and showering every day and was not a fan of family activities. He did not use drugs or alcohol, never any legal trouble, and showed no violent tendencies. His parents labeled him a troubled teen.
Well-meaning parents often turn to wildness camps after a multitude of different parenting approaches and counseling sessions fail to change their teen’s behavior. An educational consultant and wildness camp management, both of whom have a financial stake in the matter, sell the program’s “benefits” – providing parents new hope. Helping their teen outweighs the $600 or more a day cost and the thousands of dollars in other fees for the 30 plus day program. Anecdotal stories of success with other teens serves as a replacement for the absence of research demonstrating the program’s effectiveness. Will it help the troubled teen? Check out Teenage Nightmare to learn more!
This Weekend Reading Series begins with “Help” Care News, with some of the latest helpful healthcare stories. Next, check out Teenage Nightmare offering insights on the trouble teen wildness camp industry. Do not miss Troubled Waters, with articles on concerning trends that can impact healthcare outcomes. Last, but not least, check out Getting Your Goat and my personal favorite, Do the Goats Like Goat Yoga? An Investigation.
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. “Help” Care News
- The omicron subvariant dominating U.S. COVID-19 cases is more vaccine-resistant (NPR)
- The new 988 crisis number is about to launch. Here’s what to know (NPR)
- Text Your Friends. It Matters More Than You Think. New research says most of us underestimate the power of the casual check-in. (The New York Times)
- U.S. Urges Pharmacists to Fill Prescriptions for Drugs That Can Be Used in Abortions New federal health guidelines cite possible anti-discrimination violation if patient is refused drugs used for medication abortion and other medical conditions (The Wall Street Journal)
2. Teenage Nightmare
- Death Trip: Wilderness therapy programs claim they’ll straighten out your troubled teen with tough love and survival training. Some kids never come back. (HealthDay)
- State Laws Aim to Regulate ‘Troubled Teen Industry,’ but Loopholes Remain (Kaiser Health News)
- Troubling the ‘troubled teen’ industry: Adult reflections on youth experiences of therapeutic boarding schools (Global Studies of Childhood)
- Five Facts About the Troubled Teen Industry (American Bar Association)
3. Troubled Waters
- Are Financial Barriers Affecting the Health Care Habits of American Men? A Comparison of Health Care Use, Affordability, and Outcomes Among Men in the U.S. and Other High-Income Countries (The Commonwealth Fund)
- Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Is Killing Patients. Yet There Is a Simple Way to Stop It. (Kaiser Health News)
- In the label ‘adult failure to thrive,’ medicine reveals its own failures (STAT)
- As Big Pharma Loses Interest in New Antibiotics, Infections Are Only Growing Stronger (Kaiser Health News)
4. Getting Your Goat
- Welcome to the ‘Goatel’, a new farm stay where you basically just hang with goats (TimeOut)
- Do the Goats Like Goat Yoga? An Investigation. (Slate)
- New Zealand announces world-first plan to tax cow and sheep burps (NPR)
- Hard cheese: EU court scolds Denmark over feta labels in win for Greece (The Guardian)
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Email: [email protected]