Mental Health of River Guides - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-31-2018   #1
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Mental Health of River Guides

We are a team of high school students at One Stone School in Boise, Idaho. We are currently in the middle of a semester long project on mental health in the outdoor guiding industry. We have done some interviews and research on the mental health of river guides. We are interested on hearing stories from you-what has been your experience with guiding and mental health? Have you ever reached out to a mental health resource? What was your experience?

Thank you!

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Old 10-31-2018   #2
Cottonwood, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 151
You might get a great deal of information for your project from the Whale Foundation in Flagstaff
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Old 10-31-2018   #3
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Thank you so much! John Napier is a great guy, we got to interview him last week and learned a ton.
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Old 10-31-2018   #4
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
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I was hoping for some sort of running joke thread.
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Old 10-31-2018   #5
codycleve's Avatar
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,215
also check out the redside foundation.
and maybe talk to some of the people there and what they do.
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Old 10-31-2018   #6
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,833
I would suggest creating some kind of poll or document for Buzz members to fill out, or at least encourage folks to reach out to you via private message. Unfortunately there is still a stigma with mental health issues and I have a feeling that many will hesitate to post that kind of information publicly.
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Old 10-31-2018   #7
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 536
As high school students, hopefully you haven't yet encountered in yourself or your peers the widespread use of alcohol and other recreational substances used as a form of self-medication for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, but if you do put together any kind of survey or poll that might be a worthwhile avenue of exploration. I can tell you from personal experience, valid survey research of raft guides is tough to do:
Good luck with the project.

And, also, since this is where I too thought this thread was going based on the title - what's the difference between a raft guide and a savings bond? The savings bond will eventually mature and make money. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018   #8's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,189
Anyone who would want to float down rivers, cook steaks for dinner over a camp fire, drink a cold beer at the end of a day watching the river flow by and sleep under the stars listening to the river while being paid to do so is obviously crazy IMHO.

I hope you keep getting some serious answers unlike mine.
PS: I know a guy who has guided for 20 years and he is a happy man.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018   #9
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,263
As one passenger told us, river guides may be tough but we sure are stupid. Than one passenger out of 200 getting off of my airplane that I piloted into Jamaica , asked me if I was her river guide awhile back on a Yampa river trip and I said yes I was, but tonight I'm not setting up your tent. Small world.
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Old 11-02-2018   #10
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,060
Yeah, guides get paid peanuts and guests pay thousands (not that company owners get rich--gear, insurance, vehicles, etc are all expensive). Guides work sunup to sundown and beyond making sure the guests are safe, happy, fed, dry, and entertained. They have to be "on" all the time.

I go to the river to get away and unplug. Where do they go? I doubt they'd want to relax in my office!

Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
Unfortunately there is still a stigma with mental health issues.
My completely non-scientific opinion is that this is the biggest issue with mental health care.

It's really not a joke, it is serious, and if someone ever trusts one of us with the knowledge that they're struggling, we need to be empathetic and respectful of that knowledge.

ChristianR.OneStone, a tip of my hat to you and your classmates for caring to look at this issue.
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