SoCal Mental Health has been partnering up with Epic Journey to create various events and programs, one of which was the 9/11 memorial jump that took place in September. This event was incredibly successful, and we wanted to extend a sincere amount of gratitude to all that were involved. Thank you to all of our staff and friends at Epic Journey, as well as all of the participants that made the event worthwhile.
Recapping Our 9/11 Memorial Jump
This year, SoCal Mental Health teamed up with Epic Journey to create a 9/11 memorial event. This event took place on September 11th, 2021 at Skydive Elsinore. As this year was the 20th anniversary and day of remembrance of the attacks on 9/11, we created this event with this specific intention in mind. This commemoration involved various epic adventures and served as a drum to bring awareness to the past, and current, mental health crises affecting our country. This event included a day package of skydiving and off-roading around the airport.
We hosted 35 tandem jumpers, nearly reaching our max capacity of participants. Twenty of our participants were from a partnered treatment center, which helped us to grow our community and involvement in mental health advocacy. We had an amazing community of like-minded individuals gather together to remember those that had lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Our group worked incredibly well together, enabling each other to push past their own subjective fears while jumping out of a military plane.
Who Is Epic Journey?
Epic Journey is an organization that works to combine mental health treatment with adventure. Epic Journey works with clients to persevere beyond life challenges and adversity, such as working through grief and loss, addiction, and other common struggles. Epic Journey gives clients an opportunity to engage in treatment through a wide range of adventure activities. They promote sober, thrill-seeking experiences to help clients gain new perspectives on life while living fully in the present moment.
The Benefits of Adventure Treatment for Mental Health
Adventure and thrill-seeking experiences work for treatment because such experiences directly trigger the reward center in the brain. Substance use and other mental conditions cause dysfunction in these areas of the brain. Healing and recovery are tedious and complex. Traditional psychotherapy does not directly affect these same neurological and biological functions in the brain like thrill-seeking experiences do. There are incredible benefits to psychotherapy and it is necessary for recovery for many; adventure experiences help to complement the traditional treatment experience.
Adventure therapy, especially in a sober context, allows clients and participants to gain new experiences and perspectives that they may otherwise not be exposed to during treatment. The thing about mental health recovery is that clients need to feel the drive and the motivation to continue healing. Adventurous experiences trigger that drive, allowing clients to experience newfound contentment away from their unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Why We Could All Benefit From a Bit of Adventure
Whether you are in recovery from mental illness or addiction or neither, experiences of adventure help us acknowledge important and valuable life lessons—applicable to everyone. When we dedicate our time and energy to take on a new hobby or adventure, we learn to approach life from a new perspective. Certain activities teach us the importance of being engaged in life, while others teach us the importance of enjoying nature’s beauty. Each adventure will offer different lessons that we can grow from in our own ways.
In life, we all get too comfortable from time to time. Although it is nice to live life in the slow lane, staying in our comfort zone will not benefit us or cause mental growth. When we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, into places of discomfort, we learn to adapt to the situation at hand. For example, many people know the importance of cardio when it comes to staying fit and healthy. Running is one activity that only some people enjoy, although everyone can agree that we each have certain limits to how long or fast we can run. When you start to challenge your own limitations, you may realize that you can run much farther than you thought you could.
We have been partnering with Epic Journey because we value the mission that the organization has to establish growth outside of one’s natural comfort zone. We cannot grow unless we are actively evaluating our own limitations, and then consciously trying to challenge those limits. If you are someone that struggles with mental health but has hesitated to try therapy, we hope that you take the opportunity to engage in some adventure in the upcoming weeks.
We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation for the staff and participants that were involved in our 9/11 Memorial Jump alongside Epic Journey. We believe that adventure can help every one of us to evaluate and recognize our own limits as well as help us to preserver beyond those limits. Epic Journey encourages us to acknowledge the importance and value of complementary treatment when it comes to recovery for mental health. The benefits of adventure stretch beyond addressing our own limitations, but also teach us necessary life skills to help us stay on track in our healing journeys. If you need a new perspective or change in your daily routine, consider signing up for an adventure today. If you struggle with mental illness or addiction, our staff at SoCal Mental Health would love to guide you through your treatment journey. For more information about the resources and treatments we offer, give us a call at (714) 328-4760.