Today and every day, we are thankful for the amazing staff at Red River Youth Academy who make a difference in young men’s lives every day. It takes a special kind of person to work in residential adolescent behavioral health. You need to have patience, flexibility, empathy, compassion, a calm demeanor, good listening skills, resilience in dramatic situations, and a desire to help youth overcome their struggles and develop skills for a healthy, successful life.

We train our staff in effective verbal de-escalation techniques and trauma-responsive care so they understand how past traumatic events in a youth’s life have a role in the development of behavioral health symptoms such as anger, aggression, and defiance, and are equipped to respond in an effective and therapeutic manner. They recognize that all behavior has meaning in context and there are needs behind a youth’s behaviors.

The staff at Red River Youth Academy believes in hope, second chances, and new beginnings for our residents. How does this translate to young men’s experiences and outcomes? Our residents explain it best:

“He helps me with all of my problems and makes me happy. He has done all he can and more to help me feel confident about myself.”

“She helped me turn my whole life of negativity around.”

“He’s helped me by trying to be positive with me, which he has been since I have been here. And now I can control my anger and aggression.”

“She has helped me with finding new coping skills so I can use them in better ways than before. Also by helping me with changing my life.”

“He’s like a brother. He keeps me on track. He wants to see me succeed in life. He truly cares about me. And he treats me like a son. And he’s funny.”

“He is there when I need him and he is a pretty cool guy.”

thanksgiving-meal-2016-jpg-for-social-mediaOur residents picked the menu for Red River Youth Academy’s annual Thanksgiving feast this year. They are feasting on turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli cheese casserole, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, rolls, pink fluff, and a variety of pies and cheesecakes. We think they did a great job helping plan our meal!