At Ease USA (AEU, www.ateaseusa.org) began hosting the Vets4Vets program in 2022. The program uses a peer support model to provide PTSD relief. Every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m., Veterans gather at the At Ease USA café, 10605 Burt Circle, in Omaha to socialize and talk about their experiences. Vets4Vets promotes service members themselves as leaders in their journey toward PTSD relief, transforming the role At Ease clients play in the development and implementation of AEU programs.
Service members are uniquely equipped to help one another manage trauma. AEU provides the location, the transportation, and the facilitation, but encourages clients to help actively guide the direction of each Vets4Vets peer support meeting.
Studies show that, independent of therapy, peer support groups and peer support specialists can have positive mental health benefits, including an increased sense of autonomy and decreased depressive symptoms. The open-door, informal atmosphere of these meetings also makes them an effective gateway toward other, formal treatment approaches. At Ease finds that conversations with peers often lead participants to realize that therapy has helped others, and that it might help them, too.
At Ease USA is committed to providing access to confidential trauma treatment to active military, veterans, and their loved ones suffering from PTSD. AEU offers behavioral health services through an in-house clinical manager and a network of trained PTSD professionals. For more information, contact Beth Kramer at email@example.com or (531) 247-4040, or go to www.ateaseusa.org.