MARGATE, Fla., Dec. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Spark of Hope, a Joint Commission Accredited behavioral health treatment center located in Margate, Florida, wants veterans and first responders to know they are not alone during the holidays. The Center, which recently launched its Veterans and First Responders in Recovery Program for substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling, is offering complimentary mental wellness screenings to all active duty or discharged veterans and first responders in the South Florida area. Each screening takes 45 minutes to an hour to conduct, and it consists of a bio-psychological assessment, suicide screening, mental health examination, depression inventory, and a comprehensive behavioral health assessment. For veterans and first responders dealing with acute symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety, Spark of Hope offers neuro-psychological testing, biofeedback, neuro-feedback and brain mapping on a case-by-case basis. To be eligible, a veteran or first responder must present proof of service such as an active duty or service member ID and DD-214 for discharged veterans.
"For many veterans, the holiday season is the toughest time of the year," said David Lam, Executive Director of Spark of Hope, a combat Marine veteran who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. "We want them to know that they are not alone and that a caring voice is waiting on the other side if they need it."
First responders are also encouraged to utilize these free mental health screenings. "Too often, many first-responders are hesitant to seek mental health assistance for fear of ridicule and stigma," said Faith Montgomery, Director of First Responders in Recovery at Spark of Hope (The Cindi McCue Initiative). "Sadly, some of the stigma comes from their own ranks, preventing those that want to seek help from doing so."
Since launching its First Responders and Veterans in Recovery Program just several weeks earlier, Spark of Hope is already teaming up with national as well as international care providers and innovative organizations at the forefront of PTSD, Trauma and Resilience research, training and intervention. "We will be partnering up with a major South Florida university as well as with the largest hospital group in Israel for research and development into innovative measures such as the deployment of tele-medicine, virtual reality, bi-lateral stimulation, artificial intelligence, and In-Vivo engineering technology in their specific treatment applications to PTSD and trauma," according to Dr. Sherrie Raz, National Director of PTSD for Spark of Hope. "All of these innovations must be tested and approved by large-scale testing procedures. Therefore, we are seeking to create a first-ever National Training and Research Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in South Florida. Our pilot program for PTSD certification is already in development as we will be training PTSD, Resilience and Trauma Crisis Interventionists to work in communities throughout the country and hopefully around the world someday."
"With an alarming increase in acute PTSD and mental health cases arising from the veteran and first responder populations, coupled with the absence of substantive PTSD research and innovation currently available to the treatment public, we will soon face an unprecedented mental health epidemic in the country," said David Lam. "Therefore, behavioral health care providers like Spark of Hope must lead the way by joining forces with collaborative partners and innovators in the spirit of providing ethical care to our nation's heroes."
Spark of Hope
SOURCE Spark of Hope