Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sergey Blashchishen - 2009

August 28 2009 marked to endings.

First it marked the ending of the claim that commercial wilderness therapy can be safe. Sagewalk - a wilderness program - featured nationwide as a safe option for parents who had teenagers facing trouble in a modern world where temptations present themselves even inside the home when the computer is switched on, did turn out as deadly.

It was hardly a surprise as many teenagers had died in wilderness programs before. But the industry did always have some kind of explanation. Among the lame excuses were:
  • It was a simple accident
  • It was an unlicensed wilderness program
  • It was the actions of a single employee running amok
But this time a 16 year old boy died in what was the properly finest wilderness program in the United States. There were no excuses. There were no staff members doing other things than they had done with hundred of teenagers. They had simply gambled as all employees in wilderness programs do when they take a teenager who had been removed from his home not days ago out in the wilderness without days of hospitalization to determine if the child was fit to function without the basic standards of 2009.

This day they lost their bet and had to pay the price with the loss of their jobs.

But there was another ending. It was the end of the life for 16 year old Sergey Blashchishen - a boy who knew that he helped help and had reached out to his parents. What did look like an obvious choice of hospitalization in a place where he could detox and receive therapy were somewhere changed - perhaps by an educational consultant on the payroll of schools or programs - to include a stay at a wilderness program.

A deadly choice but also a tragic loss for his family who had to suffer the ultimate sacrifice - the loss of a child.

May he be remembered as a person who paid too dearly with life so families of teenagers in need for treatment may be advised better in the future?

May be rest in peace.

On the the fatality of Sergey Blashchishen at Aspen Education Group's Wilderness Camp, Sagewalk..., The Troubling Troubling Troubled Teen Industry blog


  1. Please post a picture or maybe start a Pinterest board when all who dies so tragically can be honored and helped to spead the word. I wanted to pin this, instead I will blog it on my Parents Friend blog. Will share when that blog goes up. Keep the fight going.

  2. I am a Canadian just learning about these sick programs, I sort of stumbled upon it, I never knew this existed, America's troubled teen industry is truly horrific, some of the sickest shit I have ever read in my life. I am glad to live in a country where the youth have no idea what teen transporters or wilderness programs are.

  3. Sergey, you are not forgotten. I think of you often. Of Jack. Of your mom and dad. Of your friends.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...