Brock-led project to support Ontario veterans through innovative wellness program

Brock researchers are on a mission to help veterans rebuild social connections and decrease post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after returning home from serving their country. Comrades in Well-being is a two-part program offering evidence-based wellness practices for veterans to improve mental health using sound healing, breathwork, yoga and peer support beginning Saturday, Nov. 4. Brock has teamed up with Boots on the Ground, a volunteer organization offering confidential peer support for first responders across Ontario, to deliver the program to veterans. Clinical co-lead on the project Tiffany Hunt, Adjunct Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education and Registered Clinical and Health Psychologist, says “It’s about finding different ways to show up for yourself to support your mental wellness, whether that is showing up physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. There are different ways to show up on different levels”.

The program will offer a full-day retreat Nov. 4 at Brock University followed by 12 weeks of weekly peer-led virtual meetings.

The retreat will include a panel discussion led by veterans sharing their lived experiences, a talk addressing trauma and healing given by Hunt and Tessa Alexander, Registered Psychological Associate and co-clinician on the project, and sessions on sound healing, breathwork and yoga followed by an opportunity to reflect as a group.

The virtual meetings that follow will include sessions in one of the alternative methods and a reflection circle.

Through funding from True Patriot Love, Canada’s foundation supporting military members, veterans and their families, Comrades in Wellbeing is free for Ontario veterans, including RCMP. Registration is still being accepted for the program, and veterans interested in applying can do so through Comrades in Well-being or Boots on the Ground.