In a recent blog post I said a few words about the Hogg Foundation’s interest in youth and young adult mental health. This local news segment featuring Hogg grantee Dr. Christine Norton, assistant professor at the School of Social Work at Texas State University-San Marcos, likewise captures the spirit of what the foundation aims to accomplish through its grant programs.

Norton’s work, conducted with a children’s advocacy center in San Antonio, involves studying the use of “adventure therapy” as a means of helping families overcome the effects of physical and sexual abuse. Her research will determine if adventure therapy, which relies on immersive outdoor activities such as kayaking and rock climbing, is an effective mental health intervention for child survivors of physical and sexual abuse, and if it is an effective intervention for families affected by abuse and neglect.

“It’s a very strengths-based approach, so instead of just sitting in an office and talking about the problem, you’re really giving people an experience to connect with a new, more resilient part of themselves,” said Norton in the segment.

Norton received a $19,250 grant from the Hogg Foundation to support her innovative research. She was one of 10 recipients of the 2013 Mental Health Research Grants, awarded to tenure-track assistant professors exploring different aspects of mental health in Texas. As we continue to hear from these gifted researchers about their discoveries, and as our grants continue to support the gathering and dissemination of the latest knowledge about mental health, let’s remember the end product: innovative therapies that promote wellness for those who are suffering.