Recently, the Austen Riggs Center became a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)  and just last week attended their Annual Conference in Henderson, Nevada, where nearly 700 attendees gathered, shared information and built relationships with the goal of advancing the important work of the member schools and programs.
For those unfamiliar with NATSAP, it was formed in 1999 and strives to “serve as an advocate and resource for innovative organizations which devote themselves to society's need for the effective care and education of struggling young people and their families.” They carry out this mission by providing a reliable and meaningful clearinghouse of information related to its members, working to effect positive legislative change, endeavoring to remove the stigma often associated with mental illness, addiction or learning differences and facilitating the development of partnerships among peer organizations.
Their rigorous application and screening process for new members requires licensure by the appropriate state agency or accreditation by a nationally recognized behavioral health accreditation agency, and oversight of therapeutic services by a qualified clinician.
So, what does it mean for Riggs to be a NATSAP member? By fostering relationships with like-minded organizations, we open the gates both to learn from other programs and to share our learning with a broader audience in hopes of helping people who are struggling to take charge of their lives. This is a rich network of people who care deeply about their work, so we are pleased now to be part of that network.
We are also heartened by the warm reception we received at the recent NATSAP Annual Conference and look forward to building and growing relationships with member organizations. You can find out more about NATSAP at natsap.org .