Open Sky Family Wellness Counselor Norman Elizondo, Senior Clinical Therapist Mariah Loftin, MA, LPC and Assistant Health Director Coulter Stone, MAT, W-EMT were honored to present at the recent Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC).
The WRMC, presented by NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), offers education and training in mitigating the risks inherent to exploring, working teaching, and recreating in the wilderness. Leaders, teachers, practitioners, guides, and students in the outdoor industry join together at WRMC to gain practical risk management skills, share field and administrative techniques, and develop and improve standards for the outdoor adventure and education industries. Topics for conference workshops include emergency planning & crisis response, field practices, legal and insurance, program administration, and staff training & decision making.
In their breakout session, “Mental and Behavioral Health Crisis Management in the Wilderness,” Norman, Mariah, and Coulter shared expertise from their years of experience working with clients mindfully, therapeutically, and medically.
“I am honored to present at the Wilderness Risk Management Conference,” shared Mariah. “Our presentation focused on how to work with individuals when the lines between medical, behavioral, and clinical difficulties blur. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues and provide guidance to those to those working directly with clients in the outdoors.”
The presentation addressed: as mental and behavioral health-related incidents in the wilderness are becoming more common, how can staff help support those participants? How can supervisors increase their team’s “bag of tools” so that they feel more confident in managing these situations? Norman, Mariah, and Coulter presented the basics of how to manage individuals in behavioral and/or mental health crisis and the first steps in teaching staff how to do the same.
Various Open Sky field, medical, operations, and clinical staff attended the WRMC, gaining important skills, knowledge, and techniques to bring back to programming, treatment, and guiding at Open Sky.