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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Jan 24, 2023

Michael Fariello is the parent of a wilderness therapy student and a peer parent at Other Parents Like Me (, an online parent support platform.  Michael shares his family's story of how they learned about wilderness therapy after their son went through outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient therapy, and a residential treatment center with little success in addressing his son's substance use disorder.  Mental health professionals and an educational consultant encouraged Michael and his wife, Casie, to have their son transported to a wilderness program.  Michael shares how he and Casie believed they did not have long before his son would die, so they agreed to have him transported to a wilderness therapy program in Utah.  Michael reveals that everything in their family's life changed during his son's time in a wilderness program and a therapeutic boarding school, as Casie would come up with the idea for Other Parents Like Me.  Michael shares how he supported his wife's dream of starting and why she is a perfect person for the job of helping others.  He shares his love for being a peer parent at OPLM and how he continues to support families struggling with addiction. 

Season 15 of Stories from the Field is focused on parents' stories and is underwritten by Other Parents Like Me (  We are grateful for all does to support parents whose children are struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.