The Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council is an organization of wilderness and outdoor programs who are committed to the use of outdoor environments for behavioral healthcare to assist young people and their families in making positive changes in their lives and relationships.

OBH Council’s mission is to unite its members in promoting high standards among member programs and the industry at large. We have three meetings yearly to share information and identify ways to help each other in addressing common concerns about safety, equipment, state and federal land management and healthcare legislation and policies, training, insurance, public relations and any matters related to improving standards of excellence. We strive for better programs and a better industry that parents and professionals can trust.

To further our mission we’ve also established an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare¬† ¬†Center (OBH Center) under the direction of Dr. Michael Gass, located in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Services at the University of New Hampshire. Funds contributed by member programs and the University are used to employ a leader of the cooperative and pay operating and study expenses, while benefiting from working in an academic environment and infrastructure to insure credible and objective research.

The initial research direction includes studies to clarify terminology in our field, establish the size and other parameters of our industry and its economic impacts, and a major effort to document client and family outcomes from treatment and a system that may be used for ongoing outcome assessment. The information developed by the research cooperative is subjected to rigorous evaluation by the OBH Center’s Technical Review Committee and the External Peer Review Committee in order to insure its accuracy and objectivity before publication in journals and other publications.

We believe this cooperative research effort will be very important to our industry in providing information that will strengthen confidence in our healthcare treatment among parents, healthcare insurance providers, land management agencies, social service and judicial authorities and financial investors in our programs. We invite you and your program to join with us in this research cooperative


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