Addressing Veterans and First Responders’ Mental Health Concerns about Addiction and Substance Use Disorder.
The Ranch at Dove Tree offers a specialty track for Veterans and First Responders to include healthcare workers on the front lines. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a serious mental health condition that can affect veterans and first responders due to their exposure to traumatic events during their service or duties. Effective treatment for PTSD among veterans and first responders often involves specialized approaches that take into account their unique experiences and challenges.
While substance use and mental health treatment options are available, many veterans and first responders do not seek the help they need. Some of the reasons for this reluctance include:
- Stigma and Shame: First responders may fear the stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues in their profession. They might worry that seeking help could negatively impact their reputation, job security, or standing within their community.
- Professional Consequences: Many first responders are concerned that admitting to addiction could lead to disciplinary actions, loss of job opportunities, or even termination. They may fear the potential impact on their career advancement or opportunities for promotions.
- Perceived Weakness: The culture of resilience and toughness in first responder professions can discourage individuals from acknowledging their struggles and seeking help. There may be a perception that asking for assistance is a sign of weakness or inability to handle the demands of the job.
- Self-Reliance: First responders are often trained to be self-reliant and to handle high-stress situations independently. As a result, they might be more inclined to believe that they can overcome their addiction on their own and may resist seeking outside help.
To address these barriers and encourage first responders to seek addiction treatment, it’s crucial to create a supportive and non-judgmental environment within their profession. This includes offering confidential resources, education on mental health and addiction, peer support programs, and access to specialized treatment options that understand the unique challenges faced by first responders.
RDT has achieved certification as Veteran-Ready by PsychArmor, a non-profit that educates the civilian community on military culture.
What is the Tactical Recovery Program for Veterans and First Responders?
The Tactical Recovery Program provides a culturally competent and trauma-informed environment, tailoring care for each individual using evidence-based practices, proven to promote recovery among Veterans. RDT also incorporates Service Member Groups which occur twice weekly and led by a certified EMDR therapist. In addition, RDT offers the opportunity for clients to participate in equine therapy, trauma-informed yoga, as well as other recreational therapies and groups. Once a client completes treatment at The Ranch at Dove Tree, our alumni programs will connect them with ongoing, appropriate resources.
VA Health Benefits for Veterans and First Responders
The Ranch at Dove Tree has been approved to accept VA Health benefits through the Community Care Network (CCN). The CCN allows veterans and the VA to utilize community partners outside the VA network as part of a benefit the veteran has earned.