Camp Aftermath is a one year, three phase program focused on supporting veterans and first responders living with PTSD and operational stress injuries (OSI). It is a peer-run program with clinical oversight, which ensures that we are using evidence-based programming during our therapies. This helps to foster an atmosphere of personal involvement by both staff and participants, in which the sharing of personal experiences enriches the group as a whole.
We use clinicians to validate our program, and they also oversee the entire therapy portion of the program. Our program was initially developed by our chief mental health expert, Dr. John Whelan, who has over 25 years of experience in the mental health realm, specifically with veterans and first responders. All phases of the program were methodically reviewed before we launched Roto 1 in early 2019. Everything from participant screening, the volunteer trip to Costa Rica, and the one year follow-up were structured to best help our participants address their PTSD/OSI.
In addition to Dr. Whelan, Dr. Karen Shue and Lise Preston, BA, BSW, MSW, who also sit on Camp Aftermath’s Advisory Committee, have greatly shaped our program by adding specific science-based workshops to better enhance the therapeutic experiences of our participants. They also provide constant oversight during the one year follow-up phase of our program. Such workshops include yoga, meditation, breath work, nutrition, and dealing with emotions.
The Camp Aftermath program is not an easy walk in the park; it is a hard-fought battle for both our participants and for the staff who direct the therapies. What we do see when everyone is open and honest is how they got to their dark place, at which point the clinician acts more as a guide and a peer, not to pull our participants out of any dark places they may inhabit, but to guide them through the darkness to the other side.
Camp Aftermath is committed to providing a life-altering experience for our participants, which is accomplished by ensuring that all therapeutic exercises are science-based and overseen by clinicians to ensure the safety of all those involved.
How you can help
There are currently many amazing programs that focus on helping veterans and first responders suffering living with PTSD and operational stress injuries (OSI). If you believe in our cause, please help us make a difference in the lives of five military veterans and first responders slated to experience our three-phased program in early 2021. You can donate to our campaign on Canada Helps.