The American naturalist and author, Henry David Thoreau, once famously said, “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” That is certainly how we feel every time we walk out the doors here at Clearview Girls Academy. This is also how we feel when we integrate this beautiful nature into our recovery program.
The best natural beauty that Montana has to offer surrounds our treatment facility. While this natural beauty provides a nice backdrop for our students every day, it does so much more than that; it helps girls to heal. At Clearview Girls Academy, we believe that one of the key components to a full and healthy recovery is the ability to commune with nature.
Providing a Break From Screens
Reconnecting with nature can be pivotal to a strong recovery. This is especially true in a time that finds our kids increasingly locking themselves indoors in front of tablets and computers. How often have you bumped into someone who is looking down at their phone? Let’s be honest, how often have you bumped into someone because you were looking at your phone? We are all being conditioned by social media, and few of us are exempt. This is especially true for young women.
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we aim to get our students back to nature. We want to show our students that there is something beyond the screens that surround them every day. We have also found that this initial connection to nature inspires a more active spiritual life. Nature also seems to improve our student’s physical health and emotional wellness. Most importantly, we have found that a lasting connection to nature equals a lasting connection to recovery.
The Social Media Boom, COVID-19, and Increased Adolescent Isolation
There are several reasons why nature and the outdoors have taken a backseat in young people’s lives. Not the least of these is the explosion of social media onto the adolescent scene.
According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, “Evidence from a variety of cross-sectional, longitudinal, and empirical studies implicates smartphone and social media use in the increase in mental distress, self-injurious behavior, and suicidality among youth; there is a dose-response relationship, and the effects appear to be greatest among girls.” These negative effects have only increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about more changes to the social landscape than one can count. One of these critical and dangerous changes has been the way young people interact with the rest of the world.
A worldwide lockdown has had drastic effects on the adolescent population. A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states these facts related to the COVID-19 pandemic: “In 2021, more than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.”
This isolation has been devastating to an entire generation of kids. But that doesn’t mean that that devastation has to be long-lasting. These kids just need to reconnect with the world around them. We can offer that reconnection at Clearview Girls Academy.
The Positive Effects of Nature on Mental Health
Nature has been shown to have several positive effects on a person’s well-being and mental health. Here are some very real effects that nature has been scientifically shown to provide:
- Improved sleep patterns and reduced insomnia
- Improved socialization skills
- Improved energy and physical well-being
- Improved emotional outlook
- improved spiritual health
We have found that these effects help open up our students to the type of therapeutic recovery options we have at Clearview Girls Academy. Nature has also been crucial to our student’s long-term recovery.
The Importance of Nature for Recovery
We have a three-part approach to our recovery program at Clearview Girls Academy. This includes:
- Academic achievement
- Emotional and behavioral well-being
- Spiritual growth
We have found that connecting with nature has been crucial to each of these aspects. When our students are more connected to nature, they are less distracted and more inspired. These attributes have helped many of our students excel academically like they never thought possible.
Many of our students come through our doors emotionally broken. We have found that the fresh air and beauty of the Montana landscape help our students reconnect to the reality and goodness of what the world has to offer. They then bring this newfound excitement into their emotional recovery program. This rejuvenation helps them grow exponentially in how they behave and relate to others.
Finding God in Nature
To be frank, we see God in all of the natural beauty that surrounds us. Our students eventually find that they do too. We feel there may be no greater resource to a lasting recovery than that spiritual connection to God (however each girl defines God).
We have all of the tools and resources at our disposal that can help your daughter recover. Not the least of these are the mountains, rivers, and wildlife that God has provided right here in our little spot in Montana.
Experiencing the beauty of nature has been shown to be rejuvenating. It is this type of rejuvenation that we feel can be critical for a healthy recovery. We are proud to offer this type of rejuvenation at Clearview Girls Academy. Our sprawling Montana ranch is surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature that the country has to offer. From breathtaking mountains to winding rivers, to the open spaces where our horses run, our facility can help get your daughter back in touch with nature. If you feel that your daughter might be struggling with mental health issues or with poor life choices, please reach out today. We can help. For more information, please contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484.