"Above all, we need, particularly as children, the reassuring presence of a visible community, an intimate group that enfolds us with understanding and love, and that becomes an object of our spontaneous loyalty, as a criterion and point of reference for the rest of the human race." - Lewis Mumford


Nature Deficit Disorder

Youth Disconnection Crisis

 Our Young People Thrive In A Tribe  CURRENT HEALTH & WELLBEING TRENDS IN UNITED STATES (SPECIFICALLY ARIZONA) ARE UNSUSTAINABLE More than 78.6 million adults or 34.9% of the adult population are obese, and 12.7 million children and adolescents ages 2 - 19 are affected by obesity. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1 in 3 U.S. children born after 2000 is estimated to have Type II Diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue (1 in 2 for minority children). Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 23 million people in US over the age of 12 years are addicted to alcohol and other substances, and 48 million people over the age of 12 are using prescription medications for non-medical reasons. Source: National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, Inc. We are testing, labeling, and drugging our children at epidemic levels. Nationally, rates of ADHD (Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) diagnoses increased by 22% the first four years after No Child Left Behind was implemented. Source: The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medications, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance (Hinshaw, 2014). In 2014, suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people(ages 15 -24). Suicide is also the second leading cause of death in children (ages 10 – 14). Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arizona is currently ranked 45th in childhood wellbeing. Source: Children's Action Alliance. June 2016. Arizona is ranked 49th in per pupil spending (AZ spends $7,733 per student, in comparison to the national average of $10,700). Arizona K-12 education is ranked 44th in the nation. Source: Education Week. Quality Counts 2016: State Report Cards Map. Among metropolitan areas, Phoenix is ranked near the bottom in *youth disconnection where 24.2% of young people (ages 16 – 24) are not working nor in school. And, in South Mountain Neighborhood District this rate increases to 31.8%. Source: Half the Gap by 2030. Youth Disconnection in American Cities Phoenix Metro Area Close Up. For each high school dropout, the lifetime social loss for the state of Arizona is $421,280. Among the 18,100 students in Arizona who dropout of high school annually, this social loss amounts to $7.6 billion. Source: How Arizona’s Dropout Crisis Affects Communities, and Creates Economic Losses for the State of AZ




Attention Deficits


Low-frustration Tolerance




Multitude of Addictions




Lack of Initiative & Boredom


Violence & Aggression


Apathy & Depression


Consumerism & Materialism


Poor Health & Obesity




Impulsivity & Unhealthy Risk Taking


Disrespectful Behavior


Illiteracy/Failing Grades/Drop Out





Thirty years ago children on average engaged in (3+) hours of daily unstructured outdoor play. In comparison, today’s youth (ages 8 – 18) spend a stunning amount of time “media multitasking,” the use of more than one media device at one time. In a typical day, our young people pack 10 hours & 45 minutes of media use into 7 hours & 38 minutes. Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation. Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8 to 18 year olds (2010). The sacred space known as childhood provides an opportunity for young people to fall in love with life, and to engage in living connections comprised of: wild, natural play; awe & bliss; role-modeling & mentorship; rites of passage, rituals & traditions; healthy risk taking; life skills training; responsibility; and service. Relational experiences help develop the capacity, competency and fortitude required for our youths’ 21st century success, as well as our communities’ sustained social stability, environmental vitality, and economic prosperity, now and for generations to come!

When we come together as a community in promotion of cultural wellness,

we can transform the current trajectory for our young people and our communities ...

Let's Get WILD Arizona! Public Awareness and Advocacy Campaign

inspires policy makers, parents, educators, and other community members to come together in support of  natural childhood experiences (spectrum from birth to young adult) and healthy, vibrant communities.

Adult Workshop Series Youth Programming TO LEARN MORE: As family relations, adult mentorship, community life, and outdoor play gradually disappear from 21st century American culture, our children enjoy far fewer opportunities to connect in interactive, living relationship. As a result, many of our young people are brokenhearted. They are suffering (multiple addictions, disease, loneliness, anxiety, a labeling epidemic, a youth disconnection crisis, violence, suicide) from an eroding away of cultural values and the boundary that once existed between childhood and adulthood. Our children are letting us know – through their attitudes and behaviors – that they are missing meaning and purpose in their lives. They are calling for a sheltered time and space in which to be children … In truth, they are crying for their WILD: Wonder, Innocence, Laughter, Daringness.


Cultural Wellness & Family Enrichment Center
Boy in cave: Photography by Matthew Nelson

Contact Us

P.O. Box 1133 Scottsdale, AZ 85252 I info@culturalwellness.org I 602.432.3707

 Copyright 2015 Cultural Wellness & Family Enrichment Center. All Rights Reserved.