Today's date: Wednesday March 21, 2018
column width padding column width padding
The Wellington Advertiser Masthead Logo

We Cover The County...
40,251 Audited Circulation

WEEKLY POLL   |   Community News   |   EQUINE   |   Schools & Buses

Facebook Slug
column width padding column width padding

Arthur-based group offers PTSD program for veterans

by Jaime Myslik

ARTHUR - A local not-for-profit organization is set to offer a pilot program for veterans and military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

“Some people will say well, you can’t heal it, you can’t treat it,” said Mission Butterfly chair Darlene DeStefano of Arthur. 

“That’s not true. It’s treatable, it’s beatable.”

After about two years of organizing, Mission Butterfly is set to hold its first Healing Invisible Wounds session for veterans and military personnel with PTSD this fall, with participant intake occurring until Aug. 31. 

Healing doesn’t mean getting rid of memories, DeStefano stressed.

“You can’t erase a memory... what we do and what heals PTSD is severing the emotion attached to the traumatic event,”  she said.

She explained there are a number of treatment options for those with PTSD. 

“We’re going to include everything from a mind, body, spirit perspective and we look at whole health,” she said, adding the program even includes nature and nutrition components.

The 17-member Mission Butterfly team consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, pharmacists, social workers and other trained professionals to provide programming for participants. 

“With all that they are getting in the program ... our whole team feels very confident we are going to have a very high success rate,” DeStefano said. 

“I’m very excited. It’s been a long haul getting here and we’re finally here.”

For the pilot program, DeStefano said Mission Butterfly’s Healing Invisible Wounds is open to 18 veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel.

Participants must be diagnosed with or have symptoms of PTSD. 

The pilot program is fully funded by the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

Veterans and military personnel can apply to be part of the Healing Invisible Wounds program until Aug. 31. In September the organization will evaluate all applicants. 

“You have to be 100% committed in that you want to heal,” DeStefano said. 

The sessions will begin in October in the Arthur area and will consist of four three- and four-day weekends over a 10-week period. 

“You need to have processing time in between - it doesn’t work otherwise,” DeStefano said.

On the fourth weekend veterans’ families will accompany them to the session. Once the weekend sessions are complete the veterans will receive follow-up support for a year. 

Some of the sessions veterans and military personnel can participate in include: psychosocial education, nature, family, spiritual, equine therapy, neuroscientific techniques, lifestyle and relationship dynamics, mind/body exercises and integrative therapies.

DeStefano said the program aims to offer measurable outcomes, with participants receiving an evaluation before the session begins, after 10 weeks and after about 11 months to measure the successes.

She said ideally she’d like to see an 80% success rate.  

“The pilot is always the first one where you see what’s the greatness and where’s the weakness,” she said. 

“And then from there you start to improve the program until it’s down pat and ... that is the point where everybody else needs to know what’s been going on so that they can change their programs.

“It’s not about who has the best program. It’s about helping these people, whether they’re veterans, or they’re first responders or whether [civilians], it doesn’t really matter. That is a wide issue, the PTSD.”

DeStefano said she hopes to extend the program to first responders and their families in the near future.

Veterans and military personnel interested in applying for the program can visit for information.

August 11, 2017


Tell Us What You Think

Login to submit a comment

Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser. Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive, unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. You must register or log in in order to post a comment. For more information, read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines.




Community Guide Spring 2018

Related Stories

  • New spiritual hospital offering public event at community centre
  • Wind Concerns Ontario hosts protest and debate in Arthur
  • Perth-Wellington candidates talk agriculture at rescheduled meeting
  • Arthur girl sharpens modelling skills at Miss Teen Canada competition
  • The history of the Arthur Fall Fair goes back a very long way
  • Arthurs 155th Fall Fair celebrates the theme Generation to Generation
  • The Cremasco Family: Driving duo tackles the track and helps special athletes
  • Lots of enthusiasm as truck lovers hold 17th annual meeting
  • New executive for Arthur Chamber of Commerce
  • Sandy Lake evacuees now home after week-long stay in Arthur
  • Evacuees return
  • Northern Ontario fire evacuees settle in to Arthur centre
  • CANADA DAY 2011: Arthur will be hub of activity
  • Cemetery board approves rate increases
  • Archers 060111 event launches new look and new sponsorship in local community
  • Residents working together to make Arthur a better place to be
  • column width padding column width padding column width padding

    The Wellington Advertiser





    Digital Publications


    Twitter Logo

    Free Press News Network Logo