BY DEBBIE PAGE
debbiepage.iredellfreenews@gmail.com

Trauma-related stresses are pervasive in society today. A suicide attempt happens every 22 seconds in the U.S., and one life is lost to suicide every 11 minutes, making it the second leading cause of death among ages 18-39.

Since 2011 REBOOT Recovery programs have helped veterans and first responders recover from battle and work-related trauma, with over 10,000 participants graduating from their programs across the U.S.

REBOOT is faith-based but not “preachy.” No matter their beliefs or lack of belief, participants come away from the course with proven, practical methods to begin healing.

Two REBOOT courses begin locally in September, including a new course geared toward anyone suffering from trauma and one designed for first responders. A combat veteran focused course begins on August 17. All course are free, with registration fees covered by donors, and dinner included.

NEW “REBOOT FOR EVERYONE” COURSE

Some people can recall the exact instant their lives changed forever. Too many never heal from this past anguish, causing them to relinquish control of their lives to unresolved pain.

Now REBOOT is offering a new “Trauma Healing for Everyone,” a twelve-week, faith-based, peer-led course beginning on Wednesday, September 1, to help and empower people to overcome past trauma of any kind to find their true selves again and to begin building a brighter future.

In only 12 weeks, participants can begin to break the harmful patterns of denying, crying, numbing, and running from pain and start down a proven path of healing. Through practical instruction and non-judgmental, confidential peer support, this course can help people escape past trauma and find renewed purpose and strength.

The course is not lecture but a conversation where every participant plays a part in helping one another. Courses are peer-led by people who have lived and learned from the pain and have a heart to help lift others from it.

Instructor and professional therapist Paul Veach has led numerous REBOOT combat and first responder courses and is excited to lead this new course for people with all kinds of past trauma, including child or spousal abuse, a sudden death through suicide or illness, or work-related trauma in the healthcare field, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Veach likes the grassroots approach of this course, which is not a therapy group. In past classes, Veach said people who had limited success with therapy or medication found a spark of hope through REBOOT, which looks at the trauma through a spiritual lens.

This course helps people deal with the “how comes and why nots, forgiveness, forgiving self, how to find meaning through your experiences, through your suffering, through your losses,” said Veach.

Veach encourages participants to bring a spouse, sibling, adult child, or other close person to the group with them as well. “I’ve saw it bring couples closer together. You don’t want to burden your spouse with it” so the person cuts off communication and sharing about experienced trauma.

The class offers a safe space for those close to the trauma victim to gain greater insight and understanding of the pain and be a part of the healing process. “It breaks down those barriers and improves those relationships and gives them a means of communication,” added Veach.

As people get more comfortable and a sense of camaraderie evolves, they can share as much of their stories as they wish with fellow classmates, which will be kept private within the group. At the public graduation ceremony, Veach said several participants usually share their stories and how the class made a meaningful impact on their situation.

Veach said many lasting friendships were formed within the groups. “Folks make connections and build community.”

The course, limited to about 15 to 20 participants, will meet once a week for twelve weeks on Wednesdays beginning on September 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Western Avenue Baptist Church (1206 Museum Road, Statesville). Free child care and meals are provided.

Sign up for the course at https://rebootrecovery.com/trauma.

For more information about this course, contact Paul Veach at 704-450-816 or email him at paulveach928@gmail.com.

REBOOT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Pam Navey, Statesville Police Department Community Resource Coordinator, was so positively impacted by her experience in the REBOOT First Responders and Families course that she is now leading a course herself, also starting on September 1.

This course is designed specifically for law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS technicians, emergency communication specialists, hospital emergency room staff, and corrections officers.

Ironically, the first responders to a crisis are often unfortunately the last to seek assistance when they struggle. Stresses of those on the front lines of traumatic situations are frequent and distressing, impacting the mental health of these professionals as well as negatively affecting family and social relationships.

The trauma chips away at the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of first responders, making stress the “new normal” as fun and pleasure seem to disappear from life.

However, REBOOT organizers believes that the trauma does not break the first responder but only wounds, wounds that can heal with productive steps toward a life of freedom and purpose in spite of the crisis situations that they face each day.

REBOOT encourages first responders to bring a spouse or family member with them to the course to open up lines of communication and create a support system that will aid in the healing process.

This course, limited to about 15, also meets once a week for twelve weeks on Wednesdays beginning on September 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Western Avenue Baptist Church (1206 Museum Road, Statesville). Free child care and meals are provided.

Sign up for the course at https://rebootrecovery.com/responders.

For more information, contact Pam Navey at 704-902-1637 or email her at pamelanavy@gmail.com.

REBOOT COMBAT RECOVERY BEGINS AUGUST 17

Brad Borders of Purple Heart Homes, a NC REBOOT outreach coordinator, is also leading a REBOOT Combat Recovery course starting on Tuesday, August 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Purple Hearts Homes facility (755 Washington Street, Statesville). Dinner is included.

Amid two area veteran suicides over the past few weeks, Borders said new VA statistics confirm rising veteran suicide rates over the past year. “Suicidal tendencies get worse in isolation. What REBOOT does is provide a community, a team, for people to connect into so they don’t feel like they are alone.”

“That’s the power of it. There’s a community of people that care, that have been there and done that, that understand, and that’s why it’s been successful all over the country and brought a lot of hope and healing to combat veterans.”

To cement those connections, Borders has participants exchange cell numbers and start doing check-ins with each other about halfway through the course. They also create a Facebook group page to maintain connection and accountability after the class ends.

By the final weeks of the course, Borders often has to kick out the participants, still talking because they have become so close, an hour after class ends.

“Fifty percent of REBOOT graduates — no matter the course — go on to have some type of involvement in the next course that happens, either in a leadership role or support role, and they connect in the community.”

Borders is excited that a Vietnam veteran has committed to this class cycle. He is eager to hear this veteran’s experiences and advice for coping, gained over the the past 50 years. He hopes more Vietnam vets join because “they’ve got some stories to share that might be helpful to our younger veterans.”

The course is usually kept under 20 participants, but “we aren’t going to turn anyone away.”

The REBOOT healing process seeks to reduce staggering divorce rates, substance abuse and alcoholism as well as rising instances of assault and domestic violence and suicide among veterans.

REBOOT approaches the trauma from a different angle, aiming to heal not only the mind and body but the veterans’ wounded souls as well.

In the class, Borders said that “you won’t find shortcuts or easy answers, but instead you’ll find solutions that last.”

Those interested can register at rebootrecovery.com/military#join. For more information, contact Borders at 704-818-0657 or email him at bborders@phhusa.org.

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