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Free veterans wellness clinic aims to bring healing to female vets suffering from PTSD

Free veterans wellness clinic aims to bring healing to female vets suffering from PTSD
Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 18:29:13-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Though men and women in the military fight the same battle for our country, their mental and emotional battles related to PTSD can be very different.

"I started pursuing alternative treatments because the traditional methods weren't working for me," US Air Force veteran Janell Royster said.

She has struggled with PTSD from an abusive childhood and marriage, and from a traumatic experience with a fellow female soldier.

"She had committed suicide and I found her, so that was very traumatic for me because I suffered from survivor's guilt," Royster said.

According to Veterans Affairs, female veterans are more likely to experience some types of traumatic events, such as sexual assault and domestic violence, which are associated with a high risk of developing PTSD.

"A cumulative of experiences have caused me to be diagnosed with chronic PTSD," Royster said.

However, there is help. The Tampa-based non-profit, SOF Missions, provides free clinical care to veterans across the country. This week, the organization is hosting an all-female five-day intensive wellness retreat for veterans. The clinic is followed by year-long ongoing treatments and is the only all-female clinic of its kind in the U.S.

"The whole health model: psychological, physical, social, and spiritual is how we find a solution, we’ve got to take a whole health approach," SOF Missions president Damon Friedman said.

Royster, who is now a licensed therapist, says she’s excited to take part in the five-day intensive wellness program and is looking forward to the physical health aspect.

"Of course as a mental health counselor, continuative care is vital. Being part of something like this, a whole wellness program, is magnificent," she said.

For more information, click here.