Therapeutic Treatment Grounded in Tradition & Innovation
From its genesis in 1978, Northwest Passage programming has focused on blending traditional mental health treatment with arts and nature-based therapy. Though the problems facing children and teens have evolved since 1978, the fundamental needs for self-respect, trust, relationships, and steady guidance remain the same. And while Northwest Passage has grown in size and sophistication, we’ve never lost sight of the foundations all children need to be successful. Above anything else, Northwest Passage’s goal is to restore hope in our clients. By investing in the lives of marginalized youth, we are influencing and changing how mental health is ultimately treated and viewed. The transformations we see are no less than extraordinary.
“Under the Surface reveals the ascendance, worth, and virtue inside each of us and every body of water. We just need to get in and find it.”Wallace J. Nichols
“These kids see the world and our waters in ways many of us fail to appreciate. It has been an honor to facilitate their wonder.”Dr. Toben Lafrancois
“You’ve all played a part in [our son’s] healing by nourishing his mind, his body and his soul. He came to you feeling helpless, hopeless and broken. Through your hard work and dedication, he’s learned he’s important, what he thinks matters, and that his life has value and is worth living. Because you all believed in him, he’s coming home a young man who believes in himself. The words “thank you” don’t begin to express our gratitude. Everyone we’ve met has been so kind. It takes a very special person to do this kind of work and we are so thankful to each one of you for choosing to do it!.”Parents of Past Resident
GETTING TO KNOW US
Northwest Passage is dedicated to restoring hope through innovative mental health services for children and families…
- Serving kids aged 12-17
- 50 beds across five programs
- 8-12 month approximate average stay
- 1:4 minimum staff to client ratio
- 350 kids served annually
- Award winning photography programming
If you’re looking for more information or would like to schedule an interview, please contact our communications director, Marceleen Mosher.
Mark has been with Northwest Passage since 1987 in a variety of roles culminating in his current role as the executive director. Mark has always believed that you are only as good as the people around you, and the joy of working with a quality staff and making an impact in kids’ lives have kept him “hooked” into the Northwest Passage family. As Northwest celebrates its 40th year, his top priority as the director of the organization is to cultivate a vision for the organization in its next 40 years.
Ellen has been with Northwest Passage since 2000. Her expertise is in clinical social work Education and she holds a masters in social work degree from the University of Wisconsin. In her work as a program director, she oversees the mission to address clients’ individual needs at both the Assessment and Prairieview programs located in Frederic, Wisconsin. She enjoys the challenges of creating a therapeutic environment for youth and staff by incorporating individual strengths into therapeutic programming.
Bill has dedicated his professional career to Northwest Passage’s program serving young men. Since the opening an adventure program to complement the work being done at the Riverside site, Bill has consistently kept Northwest Passage’s mission at the forefront of his efforts; to bring hope to the children and families served by Northwest Passage through innovation. Now the program director of Riverside, he ensures that the program is situated to be meet the demands of today’s clients and be well situated to address the needs of an ever-changing population.
Angela serves as Northwest Passage’s clinical director. In that role, she ensures our staff have the tools they need to provide therapeutic experiences for our clients. She fosters a culture of experimentation, openness, and support that inspires staff to bring their own passions into the work that they do with the kids She leads this call through her own dedication to providing clients with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in equine assisted therapy in the summer months.
Experiential Programming Coordinator
Ian focuses on the intersection of nature, learning, and healing in his work as the experiential coordinator for Northwest Passage’s residential treatment sites. He brings his deep, personal connection to the lakes, rivers, and woods of northwest Wisconsin to his work with the kids. And it is his mission to help kids to discover positive ways to effect change in their lifestyle through interactions with the natural world.
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NORTHWEST PASSAGE IN THE NEWS
See Below for more information about our service in the last forty years and in the news today.
Northwest Passage in the Press
2018 WPR Interview, Under the Surface https://www.wpr.org/underwater-photography-program-aims-help-teens-overcome-mental-health-challenges
2018 WPR Report, Sea Grant https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-sea-grant-awards-2-8m-great-lakes-research-outreach-projects
2017 Under the Surface in St. Croix Valley https://www.stcroix360.com/2017/09/under-the-surface-revealing-the-unseen-side-of-the-st-croix/
2017 NATSAP Celebrates Under the Surface http://natsap.org/pdf_files/newsletters/WeAreNATSAP_JAN17.pdf
2017 State Draws Attention to Passage https://burnett.uwex.edu/files/2018/01/LakeLines-Fall-2017-color.pdf
2017 Artist in Residence – Water Heals http://www.c21sandcounty.com/blog/saved-by-wild-water/
2016 Seagrant Article http://seagrant.wisc.edu/Home/AboutUsSection/PressRoom/Details.aspx?PostID=2450
2016 Under the Surface Update http://nwpltd.org/ianl-001/
2016 Dry Tortugas Summary http://nwpltd.org/dry-tortugas-01/
2016 Prairieview Under the Surface Update http://nwpltd.org/prairieview-029/
2016 Gitchi Gumee http://nwpltd.org/gitchi-gumee/
2016 Sea Grant Announcement http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/Home/AboutUsSection/PressRoom/Details.aspx?PostID=2275 & http://www.fox21online.com/news/local-news/39m-awarded-to-fund-great-lakes-research/38125352
2015 Toben Article http://www.agatemag.com/2016/02/diary-of-an-aquatic-scientist/
2015 Women of the Valley (Underwater) http://nwpltd.org/prairieview-011/
2015 Women of the Valley (mucking) http://nwpltd.org/prairieview-005/
2015 Prairieview Underwater http://nwpltd.org/underwater-photographys-second-year-is-up-and-running/
2015 Under the Surface Article http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2015/04/hope.htm
2015 Under the Surface at Cable Natural History Museum http://nwpltd.org/prairieview-009/
2015 WI Lakes Convention Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUMyVTqdfUg
2015 WI Lakes Award http://nwpltd.org/our-kids-win-a-stewardship-award/
Article by Lauralee Alban http://blog.seachangedesign.com/whats-at-risk-part-3-in-a-new-light/
Sachi Cuningham’s visit http://nwpltd.org/artist-in-residence-sachi-cunningham-01/
2016 Prairieview Apostle Islands Trip http://nwpltd.org/prairieview-underwater-01/
In Northwest Passage’s Own Words
Complete Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0jvEeC_QhQa4UHObtO_ozvKFCck0catc
In a New Light in the Press
2014 Troubled teens find a ‘new light’ with nature photography http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/troubled-teens-find-new-light-nature-photography/
2014 WCCO Family Struggles With Complex System Of Autism Care http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/11/05/family-struggles-with-complex-system-of-autism-care/
2014 NW Passage Receives Grant
2012 St. Paul Pioneer Press Getting the picture http://nwpltd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/201204-St.Paul-Pioneer-Press-In-a-New-Light.pdf
2013 Inter-county Leader Cameras meet counseling and a huge ski race at a unique local art premier
2013 Spooner Advocate New light movement grows to book
2010 Superior Telegram Nature photography helps troubled teens http://www.superiortelegram.com/content/nature-photography-helps-troubled-teens
Northwest Passage’s Professionals Share Expertise
Northwest Passage Opens For BusinessNovember 1, 1978
Webster, Wisconsin Founded on the belief that therapeutic environments were as important as the therapy received within them, two adventurous souls embarked on a now forty year journey to make the world a better place. Northwest Passage opened its doors on 40 acres along the scenic banks of the Clam River.
Staff Appreciation Tradition BeginsDecember 20, 1978
A tradition that began in its first year of operation, Northwest Passage’s annual staff appreciation holiday party continues to this day.
Northwest Passage Adds LakeshoreJanuary 1, 1988
Spooner, Wisconsin. The program expands by adding a wilderness program, headquartered at a cabin situated along the quiet shores of Rooney Lake.
Passage Brings Assessment to NW WisconsinJune 1, 1994
Frederic, Wisconsin Recognizing the need for comprehensive assessment services, Northwest Passage opened the first of its kind – Child & Adolescent Center (now, Assessment Center).
Prairieview Opens its DoorsJanuary 1, 2003
Prairieview opens its doors to serve adolescent girls in need of residential mental health services.
First Annual Northwest Passage Golf ScrambleAugust 1, 2011
The golf event in the community, the Passage Golf Scramble was started to provide funds for graduates of the programs’ alumni. So far, the event has raised over $240,000! It is held annually in August and always includes a theme worthy of participation.
Oasis Opens its DoorsFebruary 3, 2012
Northwest Passage opens Northwest Oasis, a group home that serves the youth of Sawyer County.
Transitions Opens its DoorsMarch 1, 2012
Northwest Passage opens Northwest Transitions, an adult family group home that serves residents of St. Croix County.
Opens Gallery Doors!April 1, 2012
Webster, Wisconsin After success after success, the In a New Light programming found its permanent home at the In a New Light Gallery. The space features the work of at-risk youth undergoing treatment at any of our programs.
Passage Publishes First BookJanuary 1, 2013
In a New Light expands to send kids across the country to six National Parks. As a result, we publish a beautiful nature photography book highlighting their journey and creations.
Passage Expands PrairiviewApril 1, 2016
In an effort to streamline programming and best serve a diverse population, the Lakeshore program capacity was absorbed into Prairieivew. In the process, the Frederic campus, housing both Assessment and Prairiview, built a new wellness center to continue the tradition of physical health.