Venture Academy for Troubled Teens has expanded into Ontario where it has opened a second residential treatment program for teens struggling with problems ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and criminal behaviour.
The new academy, which provides an alternative to boot camp for troubled teens in Canada, is located one hour north of Toronto on a beautiful seven-acre site surrounded by more than 1,000 acres of forest. Like the Kelowna Academy, opened in 2001, it provides teens with intensive individualized care from a highly skilled team that includes psychologists, counsellors, behavioural specialists, educators, and health professionals.
Executive Director Gordon Hay says the demand for residential treatment in Ontario like the kind Venture Academy provides was something he could no longer ignore.
“Our Kelowna location was convenient for the families of troubled teens from Western Canada but we kept getting calls from parents in Ontario who couldn’t get the help they needed but were reluctant to send their child so far away,” Hay said.
“We had some days when every inquiry we’d get would be from Ontario so it is exciting to finally be able to provide a treatment program for troubled teens in Ontario.”
Venture Academy for Troubled Teens provides a 30 Day Assessment and Intervention program, a longer-term treatment program, as well as a summer semester. It is not a boot camp for struggling teens or a wilderness adventure program.
Each teen receives a thorough psychological assessment to identify underlying issues that may be contributing to the teen’s destructive behaviour and is provided with an individualized treatment plan.
“We’ve had parents say finally someone “gets” my kid and is doing something to help,” Hay says. “Parents want their teen’s destructive behaviour to stop but they also want to know why their child is acting the way they are. Psychological testing is just one of the tools we use to provide parents with those answers.”
Hay has more than 23 years experience working with high-risk teens and their families including nine years he spent opening his own home to troubled teens. Details on both academies are available online at www.ventureacademy.ca.