Mental Health Camps for Young Adults with Depression

Mental Health Camps for Young Adults

The reason we host mental health camps for young adults with depression or other mental welfare issues, is because recent research has now has proven beyond a doubt, the positive effects that camping and being connected with nature, has.  The research below shows that nature is positive for many mental well being issues, not just depression. Hence, our camps are known to take on a large spectrum of participants struggling with mental welfare, not just depression.

Our camps operate in rural parts of South Australia, leaving from Adelaide. Camps vary between 3 – 7 days, depending on which camp your signed up for, and what is right for your circumstances.

Mental Health Camps for Young Adults – The Research

Our camps are specifically designed around the PERMA+ mental wellness model endorsed by SAHMRI. How do we do this? We take each element of the PERMA+ framework and include specific activities or overall themes in the camp, that addresses each element. A national Headspace study (2010) revealed that 35% of all 18-25 year old’s have thought about suicide or self harm in the last 12 months. We know very well that the mental health of young adults is continuing to decrease.

The South Australian Government are so convinced about the positive mental wellness effects of nature, they funded a dedicated campaign to educate people about using nature to improve mental wellbeing. See: 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Nature 

  • Exposure to parks and green open spaces aids recovery among individuals experiencing anxiety and depression, and reduces chronic stress (Alvarsson, Wiens, & Nilsson, 2010) (Vella, Milligan, & Bennett, 2013)
  • A nature-based approach to wellbeing has shown increases in self-esteem and feelings of hope for adolescent participants (Kogstad, Adgal, & Hopfenbeck, 2014)
  • Adolescents who spend time in green outdoor spaces report a greater sense of calm, focus during study and general wellness (Burriss & Burriss, 2011) (Quynh, Wendy, Janssen, & Pickett, 2013)

Our mental wellbeing camps show participants how they can go camping next time independently or with friends, enabling them to spend more time in nature.

What Happens on Mental Wellbeing Camps for Young Adults?

Take a look at some of our itineraries such as the Flinders Ranges Camp, Learn to Surf Camp, Mount Gambier Caves Camp or others – this will give you a basic idea. The simple answer is that we have fun while focusing on mental welfare in a lighthearted but directed way; we enjoy ourselves and take some time to reflect. Although there is an important element of challenge for self growth, there are certainly no strict regimes and we simply encourage participation.

Participation is built into the structure of the camp, with teams being allocated before the camp. This encourages positive relationships, while team-tasks completed together allow participants to be engaged. Our facilitated campfire nights under the stars help participants recognise positive emotion, and consider meaning, all while snacking on campfire marshmallows.

At the start of each camp, we go to Headspace Adelaide Central for an information session and pickup a few materials for the camp.

The Team:

Our team of experienced tour guides, coupled with very experienced counsellors make for a fantastic with a team that facilitates the camp easily and professionally. With the years of experience from Students Explore Australia staff members, we can handle any situation thrown at us. It goes without saying all staff are fully first aid qualified for remote settings, posses clearances for working with minors, and of course the counselling staff are fully trained and qualified.  As with any of our camps, safety is something we take extremely seriously and understand the unique challenges when camping with young adults with depression or other mental ill-health.

When is the next camp?

Contact us directly to register your interest, and we’ll let you know about upcoming camps and pricing. We usually operate 3 -4 per year and are on a first-come first serve basis.