At Ease USA is committed to providing access to confidential trauma treatment and therapeutic support for active military, veterans, frontline healthcare workers and their loved ones, regardless of their ability to pay. AEU complements existing services offered by military and veterans organizations, with a focus on the elimination of barriers to treatment for those suffering from the effects of PTSD, moral injury and suicidal ideations. What began as a mission to support active military, veterans and families afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder has grown into an effort that includes Nebraska and Western Iowa’s frontline healthcare workers who are experiencing symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress is a mental health condition that develops as a fear response to a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to function, and many people living with PTSD are unable to work. People who experience PTSD are at higher risk for developing depression, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and eating disorders, and are at higher risk for suicide.
The bureaucracy of the military and healthcare systems offers little protection in terms of confidentiality and have overwhelmed resources with long waiting lists. Those brave enough to seek mental health treatment risk embarrassment or professional repercussions, such as termination or discharge. Additionally, the persistent stigma surrounding mental health wellness prevents many people from seeking critically needed care.
AEU removes barriers to treatment. AEU offers person-centered behavioral health services through an in-house clinical director and a diverse Preferred Provider Network of culturally sensitive, licensed mental health professionals who are trained in PTSD treatment. AEU utilizes many approaches, including family and couple’s therapy, one-to-one peer support, trauma-informed yoga, group peer support and one-on-one therapy, to address PTSD.
In addition to therapy, the At Ease Vets4Vets program provides participants access to AEU’s trained peer support specialists, who offer one-on-one peer coaching, peer groups, assistance with community resources, help to accomplish personal life goals, and, sometimes, just someone to chat with when times have been particularly tough. Veterans and service members have much better odds of pursuing a long-term treatment journey if they feel socially connected, if they receive encouragement from friends and family, and if they know other veterans and service members are also engaged in PTSD treatment. Vets4Vets provides opportunities for veterans and service members to build these invaluable networks of mutual support. AEU also offers trauma-informed yoga for our veterans as well as self-defense classes, spouse support groups and monthly buddy checks on the second Tuesday of the month.
AEU envisions a world where PTSD no longer exists, but until that day comes, we are committed to ensuring that Nebraska and Iowa’s past and present military members, frontline healthcare workers, and their families have access to confidential trauma treatment.
- Nationally, twenty veterans die by suicide every day.
- Demand for At Ease services has expanded by 154% from 2022.
- At Ease has three peer support specialists -- one in North Platte -- that offer customized services.