SOUTH FLORIDA VETERANS: A MULTI-PURPOSE CENTER

Spearheaded by Vietnam veterans, Veteran organizations and military family members, The South Florida Veterans Multi-Purpose Center has developed a NEW retreat/family services center that will offer a wide range of programming for day-use and weekend Retreats for those suffering the invisible wounds of war.
The vision is to provide innovative, high-quality non-clinical therapeutic programs, services, outreach, peer education and support for military family members impacted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans of the "war on terror." The retreat/family services center is located at 4311 SW 63rd Ave Davie, FL (The old Osborne property) our hope is this NEW retreat/family services center will become a community program sponsored by local veteran organizations, churches, individuals and businesses. Please call our office for Sponsorship incentives available.

Programs & Services

Overview:

This grassroots effort, led in part by the populations it is intended to serve, will create an innovative, holistic model for post-combat care that engages the participants in obtaining the programs and services they want and need, which are currently not available in the Veterans Administration (VA) or Vet Centers e.g. family counseling/marriage counseling/individual family member support; outreach and programs geared for citizen soldiers and families; developmentally-appropriate play therapy for children; gender-specific services for women combat veterans, who often have a dual diagnosis of military sexual trauma; peer-to-peer support; support groups for soldiers, children, teens, and partners prior to and during deployment; respite and assistance for the primary caregivers of seriously wounded soldiers, etc.

The program incorporates non-traditional experiential and alternative therapies and culturally specific methodologies, selected by a panel of qualified, professionally credentialed veterans, military families and mental health experts specializing in the fields of trauma, and military psychology. The Program will also: conduct research and disseminate findings about prevention, post-combat care, and secondary trauma; advance the quality of veteran's mental health services; increase access to counseling and support for military families prior to, during, and after deployment; and promote policy changes and improvements in post-combat care while highlighting the human costs of war.

We Are Currently Conducting:

Peer Counseling: To help Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans regain a positive sense of self and heal from any negative aspects of service and war. In weekend workshops, one-on-ones and local groups, Our Program allow veterans to take equal and uninterrupted turns sharing their experiences and expressing their feelings in a truly confidential setting.

Family Group Conferencing: Restorative /Circle Methodology: Family group conferencing is a restorative approach to problem-solving that engages all members of the family in the healing process and charting their future. Originally developed in New Zealand, family group conferencing began in the field of child welfare and youth justice, but is now used in mental health, education, domestic violence and other applications.

Equine Therapy: Our Retreat offers an Equine Assisted Therapy Program. Some of the best evidence of the effectiveness of hippotherapy was recently reported by Dr. Daniel Bluestone, then a pediatric neurologist at UC San Francisco, who tracked the progress of children receiving the treatment. Comparing MRI scans over time, Bluestone found that the repetitive movement of riding generates physical changes in the brain. The implications for treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are intriguing, to say the least, and we plan to conduct research on the efficacy of equine therapy for veterans with TBI and PTSD.

Grief Counseling for Gold Star families:

Taking Care of the Caregivers:

Individual Counseling/Vet Mentors:

Couple's Weekend Retreat:

Women Warriors Weekend Retreat:

Warriors Weekend Retreat:

Substance Abuse Programs

A Fright Train of Suffering

At least 1.6 million American military personnel have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Iraq war veterans are exhibiting higher rates of post-combat mental health problems than veterans of any other war in this nation's history. In the words of one military analyst, "There is a freight-train of suffering soldiers headed our way, and we're not prepared for them."

Due to repeat, extended tours, an unprecedented wound-to-kill ratio of 16 to 1, and the high incidence of civilian casualties in a war without front lines, the most conservative estimates now are that at least 30 percent of troops will suffer some post-combat mental health problems. While post-combat mental health issues affect an individual veteran, the aftermath of war impacts the whole family and reverberates across communities.

Citizen Soldiers Have Higher Rates of Combat Trauma

More than 400,000 National Guard and Reservists have fought in the war on terror, but their battles didn't end when they got home. Reservists are more vulnerable than regular service soldiers for psychiatric breakdown, according to a 1996 study commissioned by the Department of Defense on the impact of long-term overseas deployments of Guard and Reserve troops. Almost half of the citizen soldiers who served in Iraq have post-combat mental health problems, but they don't have the same care as active duty. That's wrong, and The South Florida Veterans Multi-Purpose Center wants to make it right.




Military Families Serve, Too

When a soldier goes to war, so does the family. Over 10 million Americans have sent an immediate family member off to war, and saying good-bye to your soldier for the second, third, or fourth deployment doesn't get easier. Every combat deployment means more stress for the troops and the families left behind. When a soldier is killed or wounded in combat, or comes home with combat trauma, the whole family suffers. But help can be hard to find. The South Florida Veterans Multi-Purpose Center will provide military and Gold Star families and loved ones a safe haven that offers outreach, referrals, respite, counseling, workshops and support before, during, and after their soldier's combat deployments.

We welcome your feedback, and if you are a veteran, military family member, or provider, and have suggestions for programs or services not listed, we would love to hear from you! We are seeking volunteers to work and oversee our weekend programs.


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SOUTH FLORIDA VETERANS MULTI-PURPOSE CENTER

4311 SW 63RD AVENUE DAVIE, FLORIDA 33314
1- 954-791-8603 - 1-954-448-3843
WWW.SOUTHFLORIDAVETS.ORG
WWW.VETSENEWS.COM


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