Boulder Crest Retreat is the first privately-funded rural wellness center in America dedicated exclusively to U.S. combat veterans and their families. As Veteran's Day and Mental Health observances coincide, this is a perfect time to place a spotlight on an organization dedicated to both.
Why is this so important?
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, estimates that up to 30 percent of veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depending upon their service era and recent research in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that there is an urgent need for innovative treatment strategies.
It is estimated that more than 700,000 of the 2.7 million men and women who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are battling some form of combat-related stress. It is clear, based on a range of statistics, that the current approach is not providing the vast majority of these men and women with what they deserve and require. The New York Times recently reported that, “A 2014 study of 204,000 veterans, in The Journal of the American Psychological Association, found nearly two-thirds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans stopped VA therapy for PTSD within a year, before completing the treatment. A smaller study from the same year found about 90 percent dropped out of therapy.”
How Does it Work?
Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness is is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Entirely funded through private donations (individuals, foundations and corporations) the retreat provides free lodging, recreational and therapeutic activities and programs including a few warrior traditions such as archery, labyrinth walk with sword and shield and bonfires.
There is robust goal setting using smart goal templates to establish short and mid term goals across all four areas of our wellness triangle - Mind, Body, Financial and Spiritual. This includes identifying the goal, the key action steps required, obstacles that could prevent you from succeeding and plans to address them, who will hold you accountable and why you have made this goal.
This is peer reviewed and assessed by providers with monthly accountability meetings occurring in the aftermath of the time at the retreat.
Located 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. in the rural foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia, the 37 acre retreat provides a sanctuary to U.S. military and their families to facilitate healing from the physical and invisible wounds of war
Progressive and Alternative Therapies for Healing Heroes
The Retreat focuses on evidence-based curriculum for combat stress recovery –- called PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Therapies for Healing Heroes). -- which includes meditation, yoga, group therapy, art, music and equine therapy, nature, recreational therapies, a few ancient warrior traditions, and robust goal setting-exercise. PATHH Guides deliver the program and are comprised of a team of top-notch therapists, trained military mentors and skilled life coaches in partnership with
leading institutions from across the country.
PATHH includes train-the-trainer programs, program evaluation and a technology platform designed to ensure the benefits of time at the Retreat is sustained for years to come.
Living a Life of Passion, Purpose & Service at Home
The Retreat has delivered more than 40 PATHH programs in it's two+ years of operation. Quantitative and qualitative data suggest that the program is achieving results exponentially better than the current mainstream approaches. One of the researchers, Dr. Bret Moore, a former DOD Psychologist, said: “In just 2 days, PATHH has made breakthroughs that would take the normal medical model 12-14 months.”
Boulder Crest Retreat and it's PATHH program provides training for life, enabling these remarkable men and women to tap into their inner strength and capabilities and develop new abilities and skills so they can succeed in living a life of passion, purpose and service at home.
For more information, to donate or volunteer: http://www.bouldercrestretreat.org
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Population Projections.http://www.va.gov/vetdata/docs/QuickFacts/Population_quickfacts.pdf
Journal of the American Medical Association. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2422548
New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/us/marine-battalion-veterans-scarred-by-suicides-turn-to-one-another-for-help.html?_r=0