Military veteran and Wounded Warriors volunteer Stephane Marcotte poses with Sarge, his compassion dog, near the new Afghanistan memorial on Quadra Street. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Military veteran and Wounded Warriors volunteer Stephane Marcotte poses with Sarge, his compassion dog, near the new Afghanistan memorial on Quadra Street. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Wounded Warriors tackle trauma in Greater Victoria

New group-based training program launched to aid those suffering from PTSD

A new group-based training program from Wounded Warriors Canada is taking an innovative approach to treating trauma.

The aim of the Trauma Resiliency Program, which launched last weekend, is to treat members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and first responders, who are often diagnosed with higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Tim Black, associate professor of counselling psychology at the University of Victoria, developed the program with clinical counsellor Alex Sterling, who has previously worked with Wounded Warriors with a focus on trauma.

The goal of the program is to chip away at the isolation that wounds like these can breed, and provide peer support for an illness steeped in stigma. Addressing the shame and the societal response head on is a new approach, Black said.

“It’s tied into almost all traumatization,” he explained, saying these issues usually aren’t at the forefront when studying or treating trauma. “Just living with trauma requires resiliency.”

Black said the program’s focus is to build on that resiliency to make survivors proud of the work they’ve done to heal. “Society itself has a responsibility. Part of what traumatizes people is the social response that people get.”

While it’s hard to track exact numbers of those suffering from PTSD, he estimates it’s three to 10 per cent of the general population. Among the military and first responders, it’s more like 10 to 20 per cent. Black and Sterling are looking at what it’s really like for people to live with symptoms of trauma, asking what they struggle with most.

“Anybody who’s been to therapy knows, being in therapy is far harder than being out of therapy,” Black said. “It’s a lot harder to do the work than it is to avoid the work.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

ptsdWounded Warrior Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police escorts for Victoria bylaw workers entering encampments in parks will continue for this month, after council approved a $25,000 budget request from VicPD. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bylaw staff encampment work to include police escort through April

Taxpayers to see modest increase in property taxes for 2021

Victoria’s bylaw restricting businesses from providing most plastic checkout bags came into effect on April 15. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Victoria’s bylaw banning plastic bags back in effect

The bylaw restricts businesses from providing most plastic checkout bags, charges for alternatives

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

An online panel discussion on April 16 is set to discuss the benefits of advance care planning. (Black Press Media file photo)
Online panel to discuss planning for death with Greater Victoria residents

Advance care planning allows people’s wishes to be respected even if they can’t speak for themselves

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Most Read