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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

May 21, 2024

In this timely episode, Jessica Miller from the Salt Lake Tribune shares insights from her investigative article on the closures of wilderness therapy programs for teens in Utah. She discusses the factors driving these closures, such as negative media attention and financial challenges. Jessica provides an in-depth look at the current state of wilderness therapy in Utah and explains how the state government regulates the field. Tune in for an eye-opening discussion that sheds light on this crucial topic.

Jessica Miller, an investigative reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune, reveals the significant challenges she faced while investigating the wilderness therapy industry. Despite numerous attempts, many within the industry were hesitant to speak with her, highlighting the difficulty of uncovering the full story. Jessica discusses the complexities of reporting on wilderness therapy, the importance of fair representation, and the delicate balance of presenting unbiased information. This episode offers a unique perspective on the role of journalism in shedding light on sensitive issues.

Jessica’s article is titled “Nearly half of Utah’s wilderness programs for “troubled teens” closed in the last year.  Here’s what’s happening"- Salt Lake Tribue- Link here if podcast platforms let you use it.

Jessica Miller’s bio from Salt Lake Tribune- "Jessica is an investigative reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune, where she has worked since 2011. She was part of the team that won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize, and she is a two-time Livingston Award finalist. She has collaborated with several national outlets for investigative projects, including FRONTLINE, American Public Media and ProPublica."