AT GREAT HOLLOW WILDERNESS SCHOOLTHE UNDER DEVELOPED GEM OF NEW FAIRFIELD AND SHERMAN CONNECTICUT
Healing ChildrenStrengthening Families and Inspiring our Community
THE MISSION of the Child and Family Institute of Fairfield County (CFI) is to provide comprehensive and effective mental health services that change the lives of children, adolescents, and their families. The Child and Family Institute of Fairfield County visions a community where children’s futures are not compromised by their differences. CFI believes that every individual deserves the opportunity to achieve his/her potential; and this value system is defined within its programs and organizational structure.
CFI’s primary goal is to provide clinical intervention that will support lifestyle choices and behavior changes that will strengthen and empower children and their families. Our Comprehensive Approach includes working with the child as well as the family, school, and community agency resulting in sustainable and abiding positive change in the child’s life.
Clinical and Psychiatric Evaluations Prior to the start of treatment, an extensive evaluation is completed on every individual. This in-depth assessment ensures that a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be made to guarantee effective treatment. Individual, Group and Family Therapy The center provides psycho-educational and therapeutic groups. Groups are designed to provide participants healthy coping and life skills. The focus is to develop skills to effectively manage anger and emotions, resolve conflicts, improve social relationships, and family functioning. Parent Management Training Program This ten week course provides parents and caregivers with an understanding of their child’s disorders and behaviors and teaches effective parenting skills, communication, problem solving techniques, and enhances family unity. Liaison and Advocacy Services CFI provides liaison and advocacy services to school systems, community agencies, and daycare facilities to ensure that clients are receiving the appropriate educational services and care. We provide services to approximately 450 individuals annually
Mental illness among children and adolescents has reached epidemic proportions, and is now considered to be the leading cause of disability in children. 5,ooo,ooo children and adolescents in the country suffer from a serious mental health disorder that causes significant impairment in functioning at home, school, and with peers
eating Symptoms can include frequent ticdisorders outbursts of anger, irritability, disorders hyperactivity, excessive worries and fears, sadness, impulsivity, isolation, and hopelessness. These symptoms often interfere with a child’s ability to develop and maintain positivelearning relationships with friends and family, anxietydisorders perform well in school, and develop a disorders good sense of themselves and their abilities. mood pervasive disorders development disorders
If left un-treated, these youth Suicide is the are at a greater risk for third leading developing maladaptive cause of death for behaviors including 15 – 24 year olds bullying, aggression, self and the sixth harm, and are likely to develop leading cause of more serious mental health death for 5 – 15 problems. Even more year olds seriously, youth with mental health problems are most likely to experience school failure, substance abuse issues and possible suicide.
•Despite the many mental health services that are available tochildren and their families the number of children experiencingmental health challenges is increasing and the impact on their livesis devastating. Unfortunately, many children don’t respond well totraditional types of therapy. Their age, lack of insight, lack ofcommitment, denial, and stigma are all barriers to successfultreatment Wilderness Therapy provides challenging experiences ina supportive educational format so participants will develop innerstrength, character and resolve.
GREAT HOLLOW WILDERNESS SCHOOLIn the late 1960s, a 1,440 acrewildlife preserve in NewFairfield was willed toWesleyan University by WalterGordon Merritt. The land wasnamed Great Hollow and in1969, a wilderness program fordisadvantaged youth wasdeveloped. This once 1,440 acrewildlife preserve, now at 890acres, was eventually sold to theRegional YMCA of WesternConnecticut.CFI held the Intensive SummerTherapeutic Program forchildren and youth withemotional, behavioral, andsocial disorders from 1997 to2011, when the YMCA decidedto sell the property.
WILDERNESS THERAPYWilderness Therapy, alsoknown as NatureTherapy, has beeninstrumental in creatingsignificant change inchildren’s livesIt can be a life changing andemotional healingexperience forchildren, adolescents andadults who are not beingreached by traditionaltherapeutic techniques
Acquiring Great Hollowwill enhance CFI’stherapeutic services byincorporating nature asa powerful source oflearning and healing. This innovativeapproach will enhancethe lives of a greaternumber of individualswho otherwise may notreceive the services theyneed.
Program ComponentsTherapeutic: Fosters improved communication, anger management, conflict resolution, social skills, and emotional healthAcademics: Experiential Activities that improve academic functioning and enhance a positive attitude toward learningAdventure Challenge: Hiking, rock climbing, caving, canoeing, and high ropes courses. These structured activities are designed to build confidence, trust, teamwork, and improve motivation for achievementCultural Enrichment: Dance, music, art therapy and drama provide participants healthy outlets for expressing emotions, fostering creativity and increasing self-esteemYouth Leadership: Enhances leadership qualities, self advocacy, problem solving and decision making skills
THE CHILD &FAMILY INSTUTUTE OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY…. We have seen individuals transformed by their experience in the B.O.O.S.T. Program at Great Hollow. The design of the BOOST Program will serve as a blueprint for designing other programs that address issues such as childhood obesity, bullying, subst ance abuse, and autism.
The Peaceful Warrior: Powerful experiential program for children and adolescents who have issues with bullying Harvest to Health: Experiential, skill building program for children and adolescents with the diagnosis of obesity Second Chance: Cognitive behavioral wilderness program for adolescents with substance abuse issues B.O.O.S.T. II: Intensive Therapeutic Program for children and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum
GREAT HOLLOWThe experience ofbeing immersed in anenvironment differentfrom one’s everydayworld, coupled with astrong emphasis onprocess and on self-expression leads toactive learning, whichmakes an impressionon people in powerfuland lasting ways …
Provide Wilderness Provide College School Activities and Provide Summer Orientation Environmental Camp Programs to Programs to anEducation Programs to an increased number increased number of an increased number of children colleges and of public and private universities schools
Provide Nature The Great Hollow Open Great Excursions for Environmental Hollow to the individuals and Center will providepublic so everyone families that include educational courses can enjoy hiking kayaking, canoeing, and programs to and nature rock climbing, and individuals of all exploration caving ages
BECOME A MEMBER OF OUR COMMITTED INVESTORS GROUP WHO ARE DEDICATED TO PRESERVING THIS UNDER DEVELOPED GEM IN NEW FAIRFIELD AND SHERMANCONNECTICUT; AND MAINTAINING THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF OUR COMMUNITY
The marketing plan will consist of the following components: •A situation analysis •A positioning strategy •Reasonable, measurable and achievable objectives •Marketing goals that are likewise reasonable, measurable and achievable •Development of action steps and activities that match marketing opportunities with our own strengths and weaknesses
BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTORMEDICAL CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMDIRECTOR DIRECTOR GREAT HOLLOW DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATOR PROGRAM DIRECTOR C C C BOOK ASSISTANT ASSISTANT KEEPER PROGRAM DIRECTOR C C OFFICE MANAGER WILDERNESS STAFF