Unique program to move ahead of Post-Traumatic Stress – Veteran and First Responder focused
Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) affects more than just mental health however many existing programs are designed to solely treat the mental health of those experiencing PTS. Our Clinic, located in London and Ottawa, Ontario, now delivers a comprehensive program that treats the whole person, not just their mind.
MAPS was conceived and created by a working group of clinicians, academics and survivors of PTSD from the military and first responder communities. Educated in delivering trauma-informed care, the entire team at Our Clinic participates in developing a holistic program that puts emphasis on mental, physical and gut health.
“The MAPS program at Our Clinic is designed to address the psychological and physical health of individuals coping with post-traumatic stress, where each participant becomes the focus of individualized, evidence-based care,” explains Dr. Daniela Rabellino, PhD in Neuroscience and Masters in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Rabellino is a member of the working group, a clinician at Our Clinic London and a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) researcher at Western University in London. “The staff at Our Clinic builds a circle of care and works in collaboration with the participants toward improved personal well-being, where body and mind reconnect.”
PTS develops when a traumatic event impacts an individual’s life dramatically. The person is affected as a whole, and the mind responds as best as possible in a survival mode. Physical symptoms are often the first things noticed and can include pain, numbness, shaking and lack of appetite. For many suffering PTS, self-care can become unimportant, similar to those suffering depression.
“PTS can manifest into physical symptoms, such as physical pain, rapid heart rate, increased sweating and rapid breathing,” describes Sarah Leuverink, qualifying kinesiologist. “Exercise and physical therapy have been shown to alleviate these physical symptoms, bettering overall quality of life.”
The combination of symptoms of PTS, a seriously debilitating operational injury for Veterans and First Responders, are different for each person making it sometimes difficult to diagnose or even recognize. Many of those who experience PTS try to self-medicate with alcohol or other substances, complicating their treatment.
“PTS is perhaps most difficult for those professions who are considered protectors, like First Responders and military,” says Wendy Moore, Vice President of Our Clinic. “For these folks to admit they need help can be the most difficult thing of all.”
The MAPS program at Our Clinic combines innovative proven therapies which complement traditional therapies, based on academic and industry research, to deliver an evidence-based, clinically managed plan unique to each client. The program begins with a free assessment by the Treatment Navigator who then acts as navigator to assist clients through their treatment plans.
“I’m a first responder with 26 years on the job,” states Steve Stokan who is now a mentor with Project Trauma Support and participated in the working group of the MAPS program. “After crashing hard from PTSD a few years back, I have recovered from it and have since returned back to work. I learned that the best way to conquer PTSD is by approaching it holistically as it effects every aspect of your life. If you put the time and effort in, you can beat it and live happily again.”
More information on the MAPS program is available on the Our Clinic website at https://ourclinic.life/programs/maps or by calling Our Clinic London at 519-937-1881 or Our Clinic Ottawa at 613-369-8389.