Elk Island Youth Ranch – An Answer To Our Prayer
Our family resides in an isolated region of Canada where services for youth with diagnosed behavioural and mental health issues are absent.
Lack of appropriate support services and past trauma resulted in escalating anger and distress for our 14 year old. The difficult decision to access help for him at Elk Island Youth ranch was made.
One year later, the results defy any medical prognosis or expectations we had. He receives comprehensive therapeutic care - setting and staff are awesome – and we are invited to participate in his recovery. In fact, no effort is spared to include us in supporting his gains and keep the familial bonds strong.
At this time, he is succeeding academically. He is involved in a range of therapeutic activities which include learning to manage activities of daily living, development of social and life skills, ethical and moral development and other. This is accomplished in a setting where he is provided with many options for safe and healthy activities. He rides dirt bikes, he builds forts, he plays X-box, he golfs(!), he rides horses, he swims and he has high-energy, age-appropriate fun. The staff-client ratio is good. Staff is dedicated and skilled. For our youngster, we have seen the positive impact of strong client-staff bonds. This bond is a key component of the therapeutic environment and one which is difficult to capture in program descriptions.
Good self-esteem, insight into his strengths and challenges, increased coping strategies, increased ability to successfully navigate his teenage years and renewed enjoyment of life are now evident.
Summary: Elk Island Youth Ranch provides a ‘A Shelter in a Time of Storm’. This is a high-calibre behavioural treatment facility – and an answer to our prayers.