Empirical support is being collected to accurately prove the resilience-building effects of Rivers of Recovery programming. Following every Rivers of Recovery trip, we have committed to documenting and analyzing the relationship between Rivers of Recovery participants’ self-reported instances of isolation, unhappiness, and PTS symptoms, compared to improvement in interconnectedness and increase in happiness. Further, we have identified the need to examine the unique qualities of hunting and angling among outdoor recreation therapy modalities that contribute both directly and indirectly to efficacy, especially with a focus on distinguishing among female and male participants. We continue to marvel at what we are learning via this new research initiative focused on our intentionally designed therapeutic outdoor recreation outings as protective factors.
We are surveying veterans involved in our intentionally designed therapeutic outdoor recreation outings (IDTOROs). Those surveyed are self-reporting experiencing 10 risk factors upon arrival to the IDTOROs, in varying degrees. After participating in the RoR IDTOROs, veteran participants are reporting significant improvement across the 10 risk factor areas, demonstrating that even a single IDTORO experience strengthens protective factors and mental health and well-being. These results strongly indicate efficacy in bolstering protective factors against suicidality and other mental health issues associated with PTS and associated mental health challenges among veteran participants of intentionally designed therapeutic outdoor recreation.
Keith G. Tidball, PhD
Thank you to our donors for their support of this vital research!