OBH Council Transport position statement

The Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBH Council) was established to provide opportunities for leading outdoor behavioral healthcare (OBH) programs to work together to advance the field through better practices and innovation, effective treatment, and evidence-based research.

Today, the OBH Council is made up of 20 member programs, all of which are required to hold outdoor behavioral healthcare accreditation standards through the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) as well as meet other member expectations. We’re committed to implementing treatment approaches that meet and exceed standards of practice in the treatment of mental, behavioral, and relational distress.

In the spirit of evolving practices, members of our Best Practices Committee met to discuss legislation in Oregon and Utah regarding youth transport, and develop a set of recommendations for accreditation standards specific to the use of professional transport. Recommendations for accreditation were provided to Association for Experiential Education (AEE), a third-party accreditor for OBH Council programs. These recommendations are currently in review by the AEE accreditation council for consideration, which will be at the sole discretion of AEE on how these standards will be set for the AEE-OBH Accreditation standards. In the meantime, OBH Council member programs are committed and are held to the following requirements.

Below are member expectations that are in the scope of practice of the OBH Council, as we are not an accrediting organization, but do enforce expectations for all member programs.

OBH Council members must adhere to the following membership expectations relating to professional transportation to OBH programs: 

  • Member programs will conduct a risk assessment during a client’s application process that will determine the least restrictive option of helping clients enter needed treatment.
  • If risk factors indicate that a professional transport would be the safest method, then families would have the option to utilize a third-party professional transport agency that complies with local and federal laws, and adheres to ethical best practices. 
  • Member programs that receive clients via professional transport will have a grievance process and a post-transport debrief process in place to further support the client throughout treatment. 

These expectations demonstrate OBH Council’s commitment to educating, reducing risk, retraumatization and minimizing harm, while increasing options for families as they seek treatment for their loved ones.