Did you know that volunteering has a positive impact on the giver as well as the recipient?
An increasing number of veterans suffering from PTSD are finding solace from mental anguish through volunteerism. Not only are they reconnecting with their communities, but they are also regaining a sense of purpose and pride. An article published in U.S. Veterans Magazine tells the story of Ian Smith, a depressed and suicidal Army veteran, who changed the trajectory of his life by serving a greater purpose.
At Camp Aftermath, we are approaching the long-term management of PTSD through philanthropy. By introducing deploying participants to the positive impact of volunteerism in Costa Rica, we will establish a routine of giving back in a low-stress environment. During their two-week itinerary, participants will take part in various forms of community service with the support of local registered charities. With the assistance of our mental health expert, Dr. Whelan, and Aftermath volunteers, we help participants embrace volunteerism and regain their sense of purpose through civic service.
Volunteerism is backed by scientific research.
Studies have shown correlations between volunteer work and improvements in the mental health of individuals. Research published by St. Louis University in 2017 has helped to articulate why volunteerism is so beneficial. It’s not simply about giving back – it’s about assisting with a difficult transition to a new life, reengaging with the community, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation, and regaining purpose.
Our approach is long-term.
Support from Camp Aftermath doesn’t end when the participants return home to their families and communities. At this important juncture, the post-deployment phase of Camp Aftermath’s curriculum will be implemented. Our case officers will maintain contact with all participants and facilitate the enrolment of participants in volunteer work within their respective communities here in Canada. Our goal is to introduce a new way of life for the participants. One which enables them to re-join society and surround themselves with supportive and like-minded people. Our approach is to facilitate long-term management of PTSD.
How you can help
There are currently many amazing programs that focus on helping veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD. If you believe in our cause, please help us make Roto 0, our first retreat, a success and consider donating to our campaign on Canada Helps.
We are a registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency. For more information, please visit our status page on the Canada Revenue Agency website.