Understanding Teen Mental Health With The Turning Winds Podcast Series

Many of us can relate to what it’s like to be teens trying to figure themselves out. In the final years of moving toward adulthood, we set the course for a lifetime. It’s confusing for them and sometimes overwhelming for parents but we believe in providing the resources to help to create positive change.

One of those resources is our podcast series discussing a variety of topics impacting teens and their families such as defiance, depression, anger, or other emotional issues, as well as risky behavior and academic delinquency.

This is the situation Cindy faced just before Christmas a few years ago. Her son Brady had been in trouble for some time and she and her husband had gone through years of school suspensions and multiple expulsions. There were even difficulties with sports events: Brady was acting out and consequently only able to attend with a parent present.

Sending Brady to a residential treatment program was not an easy decision for his parents to make but they never regretted it. “We went through the admissions process and immediately I knew this place had a welcoming home environment,” Cindy recalled. “I never doubted the decision. Brady was either going to be dead, in the legal system or tied up in drugs. We knew something had to change, it had reached a point where this was bigger than us.”

Turning Winds helps young people learn how to perceive and purposefully engage with the world around them correctly. The program’s holistic approach, relational focus, and emphasis on authentic openness make Turning Winds especially effective at facilitating positive outcomes and long-term change.


At Turning Winds, we are dedicated to forging lifelong relationships and healing teens. To us, you’re more than just a client. Our model of care, renowned for its effective therapeutic support, mirrors a functional family system. Many alumni, having transformed their lives through our program, are so positively affected and had such a life-transforming experience that they wish to give back in return.

One of them is Justin. He went to Turning Winds 13 years ago but is still eager to give back and help current clients move forward. A while ago, Justin called Turning Winds and asked to be part of an anniversary celebration. On our podcast, he explained why he still considers himself part of our unique community.

“This program changed my life for the better. I was going down a really dark path. God knows where it might have taken me,” Justin remembered. “My early days were a lot of work, trying to get myself into the program to see what it was all about, how I was doing mentally, and how I could change that.”


Many clients are “the first to admit they’re miserable” when they join Turning Winds, explains program director Enoch Stump. “They know they need help and want to try something different but they lost a little bit of hope, that’s why our motto is Restoring Hope.”

The program encourages our teenage clients to make a thousand small decisions to do things differently—day after day. The trick is not to lose patience because it won’t happen in a day, it takes time. It’s a mistake to expect something big and meaningful to happen almost instantly.

The podcast series is part of restoring hope by sharing the experience of alumni, their parents, and our educators and therapists.


The treatment program at Turning Winds is all about effecting positive change. Therapeutic approaches—many particular to the Turning Winds boarding school environment—include character education, health, and wellness of body and mind, outdoor experiential education, evidence-based clinical care, and academic success, along with continuously improving each aspect of our therapeutic program through measuring outcomes in each area.

That process is not just about celebrating the good times when a teen feels understood and valued. Many breakthrough moments come when they’re at their most vulnerable and angry. Occasionally, “there’s a power struggle between a kid and a member of staff, and things shift a little bit, and all of a sudden it’s two people trying to be right instead of two people trying to get it right,” says chief operations officer Carl Baisden. “We work with the kids. Those are the moments, right? When I see a kid struggle and something’s not working well, our staff are trained for that. Let’s go talk to that kid, engage with that kid, try to provoke thoughts within this kid, and get some change, get some movement.”

Turning Winds also focuses quite a bit of time, energy, and resources on the quality of human interaction. “Empathy is a big one here at Turning Winds,” says Carl Baisden. “That word is used a lot. Anytime we’re training staff, two words that are my favorite are empathy, having empathy, and having curiosity for kids.”


Turning Winds takes pride in making significant investments to continue seeing positive outcomes for our patients and their families. “We continually make tremendous investments in our team, in our physical facilities, in the equipment that our kids use, in the trips that they take,” says Turning Winds co-founder and chief financial officer John Baisden, Jr. “It’s pretty significant what we’re doing on a continual basis, just investing in our people.”

And families come first at Turning Winds. Two of our treatment goals are increasing the healthy autonomy of our students while promoting better integration into their families and assisting their return to living successfully within their family system after completing the program.

It’s not a short-term approach, but the Turning Winds team looks at things with a long-term view.

“Not taking any shortcuts, but making that investment, doing the hard work, and putting in the time so you do have those outcomes for our patients,” says John Baisden, Jr. “We want our patients to be successful. We also want our families to be successful. And you can’t do that by cutting resources.”


For the past two decades, Turning Winds has built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, who all share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and futures.

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

Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If we miss your call, rest assured we will reconnect with you promptly to start planning your transformative experience.


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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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