How would you know if you had broken your arm? You would certainly feel no small amount of pain. You’d likely even see physical signs of a broken bone. What if you had the flu? Your cough, stuffy nose, chills, aches, headache, fever, or any number of tell-tale signs would likely prompt you to see a doctor. Other people would likely recognize it, too.
What if you were experiencing nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, and severe anxiety? Would you know what to call it or know how to treat it?
Many veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars bring traumatic memories home with them, making the transition to civilian life extremely difficult. Sometimes, their trauma becomes easier to bear, but for many, their symptoms only worsen with time. With no one to understand the weight they carry, they lose hope.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are 22 percent more likely than non-veterans to commit suicide.
For each soldier lost in combat, 25-30 take their own lives. Many others face addiction, joblessness, and homelessness. These men and women, even after returning home, are fighting a different sort of a battle.
Headstrong is working to provide these veterans with world-class medical care that is cost-free, bureaucracy-free, and stigma-free, rallying veterans together from their silent battle to create an intentional community of those looking to treat their PTSD. Ultimately, that’s the core belief of Headstrong: Trauma is treatable.
With the belief that world-class clinicians help produce world-class results, Headstrong partners with the best health care providers in ten cities, offering an array of proven treatment therapies, including psychiatric assessments, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, mind-body techniques, and motivational interviewing. Headstrong serves each veteran with an individual, goal-oriented approach based on their needs, with no limit to number of sessions. Utilizing a highly efficient and highly effective model, Headstrong taps into the available capacity of clinicians, cutting overhead costs and building community partnerships.
For many veterans, the care Headstrong provides proves to be lifesaving in treating the traumas of war. Self-reporting of participants revealed 75 percent better sleep, 83 percent fewer flashbacks and nightmares, 71 percent less hypervigilance, 59 percent improved relationships, 68 percent reduction in avoidance, 86 percent reduction in suicide ideation, 87 percent improvement in mood, 77 percent improvement in work or school, 80 percent less drug and alcohol use, and 67 percent reduction in medication for PTSD symptoms. With Headstrong’s support, veterans don’t have to fight their battles at home alone.
A combat decorated former Marine Corps officer, Zach Iscol founded the Headstrong Project in 2012 with Dr. Ann Meeder, Gerard Ilaria, Dave Petrucco and Al Rabil. Together, they partnered with Weill Cornell Medical Center to fund and develop comprehensive medical healthcare programs to treat veterans of post-9/11 wars, believing that if veterans have the courage to get help, they deserve the right help, and can return to leading meaningful and impactful lives.
Headstrong is a 2017 S+ Catalyst. Through participation in the Catalyst Program, Headstrong receives training from industry experts in organizational development, branding, measurement and growth, and strategic relationships to amplify their impact and strategically expand their reach.