Tackling the New Normal: America’s Youth Mental Health Crisis

“Imagine a country where two kids in every classroom are experiencing debilitating illness, affecting their ability to concentrate and learn—and potentially threatening their lives,” wrote 

Mitchell Prinstein, the chief science officer of the American Psychological Association earlier this year. “But there is no need to imagine: The US is that place, and mental health problems are the pervasive illnesses that are deeply affecting children’s education, safety, and futures.”

The alarm bells are ringing everywhere. Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns recently presented a  two-part, four-hour documentary that followed the journeys of more than 20 young Americans from all over the country and all walks of life, who have struggled with thoughts and feelings that have troubled—and, at times—overwhelmed them. NBC’s Today program also reported on the troubling rise in anxiety and depression among children.

In December, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on the youth mental health crisis:

“Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade,” Dr. Murthy said. “The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating. The future well-being of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.” 

The Turning Winds treatment program in Troy, Montana helps address the historic rates of dysphoria and mental health disorders among young people in America. Teenage stressors including the threat of mass shootings and other school violence, the escalating climate crisis, family separation, financial pressures and debt, political division, school performance pressures, and other real or perceived threats are making it ever harder for young people to feel safe. 

Everpresent electronic devices and social media are feeding the frenzy, making it difficult to avoid negative headlines, bullying, and the artificial realities of curated online personas. Turning Winds provides a therapeutic respite from this dysfunctional cultural experience, reconnection with core human values, and the holistic education and therapeutic alliance needed to perceive and practice intentional living.

Situated in a peaceful clearing hewn from Montana’s deep and pristine northern woodlands, Turning Winds offers young people the time, care, and environment to develop the agency essential to leading a free, healthy, and purposeful life.

Away from the artifice of our current culture, young people can become free from the perceptions that reinforce negative thinking and become accepting of new ideas and skills that will allow them to restore their quality of life, quality of opportunity, and ability to engage joyfully with their world.

Time—extended length of stay—plays a significant role in the Turning Winds difference. The  ability of young people to engage in integrated therapeutic programming for an extended period significantly increases the benefits of therapy. Longer stays aid in the development of positive and supportive relationships, allow our teenage clients to experience the benefits of improved mental and physical health while in treatment, and facilitate a deeper and more thorough clinical assessment and personalized care. 

Turning Winds represents a critical resource for adolescents, families, and their communities. The program’s therapeutic work and its ability to help individuals become healthier, happier people, family members, and community members yield far-reaching personal and societal benefits.

Our mission is to rescue teens from crisis situations, renew their belief in their own potential, reunite them with their families, and launch them on a sustainable path to success.

We understand the challenges that come with seeking help. If your teen is struggling with mental health issues, speak with our admissions specialists today at (800) 845-1380.


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Picture of John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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