Our goals at W.A.T.E.R.S. are to provide education and training to veterans, VA personnel, community mental health providers, occupational therapists, and non-profit volunteers. This training enhances the skills required to address the needs of veterans and all members of our military family including active duty, reserve, guard, spouses, children, etc. This training creates greater expertise in “mental health first aid,” that many veterans, including those with PTSD, TBI, and substance use will benefit from.
Based on our experiences over the past several years, the relationships that develop among the participants, volunteers and VA staff have encouraged and supported veterans’ to become involved in a non-threatening, non-competitive community activities. In contrast to the traumatic experiences of warfare, recreational activities, such as kayaking, rock climbing and fly fishing, create a calming and healing situation while pursuing a goal which releases the trauma victim from the immediacy of the symptoms of PTSD, TBI and other emotional/mental issues.