Earth: Connection and Healing Outdoors (ECHO)
Earth: Connection and Healing Outdoors (ECHO) by Berry Street is a trauma-informed, nature-based program that supports young people and families to discover how nature can help in recovering from difficult and painful experiences.
Run in the Gippsland region, ECHO delivers Therapeutic Outdoor Interventions (TOIs) that are tailored to the young person or family. TOIs are an opportunity for young people and families to join in adventure-based activities within the natural environment.
How it works
ECHO supports young people and families to connect or re-connect with nature and encourages them to try new activities. Nature-based activities can be simple, such as hiking in the bush, or more adventurous like rock climbing or ab sailing.
Over a period of 5 to 6 months, participants engage in tailored sessions every 2 weeks that are based on their needs and interests.
ECHO recognises the importance of relationships and interactions with others, especially when healing from trauma. This is why we work directly with young people, and ideally with another significant adult, sibling or family member.
Program goals and benefits
Through delivering TOIs, the program aims to support healing and development in young people and families.
It does this by creating:
- a positive connection with the natural environment
- connectedness among family members and safe, attuned relationships
- positive, safe and fun supported adventures.
- build self-esteem and self-worth
- increase positive connections with others and with nature
- experience improved overall wellbeing.
How to make a referral
The program primarily supports young people who use Berry Street’s services and who have a Targeted Care Package (TCP).
Where there is capacity, the program works with young people who have been referred by external agencies.