Headstrong

Healing the Hidden Wounds of War
"Headstrong hasn’t only helped me with my demons of the past; it has helped with my issues in daily life and, for the first time, I can plan for my future outside of the military."
– Headstrong Client

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.

The Solution

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.

The Story

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.

S+ Partnership

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.

New York, New York
est. 2012
Leadership
Zach Iscol
Executive Director
Read bio
A combat decorated former Marine Corps officer, Zach served two tours in Iraq and on other assignments around the world in the infantry and special operations. Zach founded Headstrong Project believing that if fellow veterans have the courage to get help, and they get the right help, they can return to leading meaningful lives. He is also the founder and CEO of Lafayette Media Group, a media and technology group that builds companies that support the military community including Hire Purpose, a career site, and Task & Purpose, a military-focused media company. Zach graduated from Cornell University in 2001 and is the 2017 recipient of Phillip Exeter Academy's John Phillips Award.
Locations
San Diego
Houston
Washington, DC
Success Metrics
244
Veterans being served across four cities
75%
Report sleeping better
87%
Report improvement in mood
67%
Reduction in use of medication for PTSD symptoms
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