Recre8 is an early intervention program intentionally designed for at-risk young people. The aim is to identify at-risk symptoms and behaviours and, through guidance and support, assist participants to makes changes before consequences become irreversible.
Our program initiates a journey for at-risk young people to explore the world safely and develop resilience in Nature. Simultaneously it creates the opportunity for inward exploration and transformation. Designed by skilled psychologists and counsellors, our nature-based expedition programs enable young people to learn new ways of interacting with themselves, others and community, overcome challenges, and create pathways to healing and transformation. These are gifts for life.
Post-program they are better equipped to reconnect with their families, attend school and appropriate mental health services, as well as activate their own life goals. They develop the inner compass that helps them to navigate through life’s challenges and thrive.
The key stages are:
Stage One: Building the therapeutic relationship with the young person and their family. Referrals are screened and assessed to ensure each participants’ suitability. Each young person has a clinical assessment with in-depth interviews to evaluate their mental state and psychosocial reality. Team staff review how they are performing in all areas of their lives and what their specific needs are. Support is then provided to the young person and their family/carers prior to ensure they are properly prepared for the program. Energy is invested into building and developing trust, which lays the ground work for future transformation over to coming months.
Stage Two: The 2-day preparation camp is where young people take part in a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing and bush camping with the Program Team. This builds on Stage One preparing each young person physically, emotionally and mentally to take part in the wilderness expedition, and providing further opportunity for assessment.
Stage Three: The 10-day wilderness expedition involves camping, hiking, canoeing and sailing in beautiful natural environments. Young people are taught wilderness skills to survive out in the bush including map reading, making a fire, preparing food, cooking and how to set up a tent. In our current Young Women’s Recre8 Program they learn how to navigate and sail around Moreton Bay, whilst in our Young Men’s Recre8 participants white water canoe down the mightly Clarence River.
Participants are given the opportunity to take leadership roles, and are provided with safe space to receive guidance on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. By being trusted, given leadership roles and learning new skills young people receive positive messages that they are intelligent, capable and have the power to create positive change in their lives.
Simultaneously participants work through their challenges with a supportive team of mental health professionals. Our Program Team uses a wide range of therapeutic tools to best suit the emerging dynamics of the group. The journey is constructed to balance both active, physical and relationship-building exercises with more self-reflective internal processes for each participant.
Overall, this powerful experience fosters the development of healthy relationships to self and other, physical and mental health, and ultimately self-efficacy. Co-facilitated to rewrite their own personal narrative (sense of themselves and their story), young people are shown that they have the inner resources to achieve more than they imagined. Each young person leaves with a set of goals and strategies for creating a fulfilling future unique to them.
Stage Four: Follow up support and mentoring is provided for two months post-expedition to ensure integration. HNAT’s Program Manager and a second psychologist track and evaluate the progress of each young person. Each participant receives one-to-one follow-up counselling, and consultations are also undertaken with the participants’ support network of parents, school counsellors and case workers. The process identifies the progress each young person is making and activates opportunities for further support.
Stage Five: The Reunion Celebration is an overnight gathering of all the participants 4-6 weeks after the expedition. Each young person has the opportunity to recognise, consolidate and celebrate their achievements through the program. The reunion celebration provides an additional opportunity for follow-up support with personalised checking-in and review of each participants’ progress since the expedition journey.