When I finished wilderness therapy, I felt suffocated by its restrictions and looked forward to returning to the “real world.” I wanted my independence and I wasn’t eager to start another program. But Red Mountain offered a form of independence with a safety net and the opportunity to live a normal life. It was structured, but you could gain more freedom over time. That’s the main reason I chose RMS.
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived there. However, I was immediately impressed by how the staff worked together. Everyone seemed to be on the same level and there was no hierarchy that I could see.
Right away, I was excited to be living in an apartment and being with people I could connect to, but also learn from. As I got into the program, meditation and mindfulness stood out as being very impactful. I had tried those approaches before, but had become frustrated and given up on them. I also had one-on-one therapy that helped me to find my own take on those disciplines. I didn’t think I would use them in my own life, but I do, especially at work.
Another powerful component of RMS was that it allowed me to find a job that challenged me. From that work, I developed coping mechanisms that I use now as an alumna of RMS. Ultimately, I want to make a career in behavioral health, which feels purposeful to me. If I were to advise a family considering RMS, I would tell them that it is an individualized program, and not “one size fits all.” It is a community that provides you with an enormous amount of support; the community cares about every person who is there. They don’t just lay down rules that they expect you to follow; they want to empower you to succeed. You get a level of autonomy, so you have to put in the work and care about yourself. You come to realize that you are responsible for your own wellness.
I am so grateful that I went to Red Mountain. It was incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. It’s just a very special place.