Pamlico Rose, a Washington, NC nonprofit that advances health and wellness programs for Veterans – Vet by Vet, is offering a 5-day Total Life Fitness Retreat for female Veterans who may be struggling with transition and reintegration at their Rose Haven Center of Healing, May 20-24, 2019.
Nearly half of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans have trouble reintegrating into society. Reintegration can refer to post-deployment and/or transitioning to civilian life after discharge. Not all members of the military deploy or experience combat; however, all service personnel transition from military to civilian life. Female Veterans, while facing the same issues as male counterparts, may find reintegration even more challenging due to the additional layer of gender-specific issues. These issues include PTSD, often from military sexual trauma, as well as addiction, military and gender-based identity issues, and social isolation. Reintegration for female Veterans can be difficult even without significant mental or physical trauma. Many female Veterans do not seek help through the Veterans Administration for issues of reintegration due to discomfort with the a heavily male clientele and a lack of recognition and/or connection to their military service. There is also the issue of limited access as 26% of women Veterans live in rural areas.
Building a strong foundation of wellness and resilience can help female Veterans overcome the effects of trauma and an uncertain future. Pamlico Rose offers an integrated approach, Total Life Fitness (TLF), derived from efforts such as the Department of Defense’s Total Force Fitness and the Department of Veteran Affair’s evolving patient-driven approach to serving Veterans. It connects mind, body, spirit, and community through the development of behavioral skills such as mindfulness and anxiety management, as well as attention to interpersonal skill development. TLF includes meaningful and persistent attention to daily activities and events that feature nutrition, exercise, meditation, and spirituality—all building resilience to aid those in recovery or experiencing symptoms of trauma.
The Total Life Fitness Retreat, including lodging and food, is free to all female Veterans and offers a daily schedule that broadens the concepts that underlie wellness, healthy living, and behavioral and interpersonal skills that are critical to achieving TLF, while building resilience. The retreat staff are noted experts in fields integral to Total Life Fitness with experience working with active military and Veterans. The retreat also provides activities that utilize those skills and helps to develop overall TLF. Each day’s schedule is designed around the retreat’s purpose to inform and engage. In addition, participants can complete a three-month course after the retreat through an online app consisting of daily lessons that continue the development of wellness. Most activities will occur outdoors in Washington’s historic district and along the Pamlico River. Nature provides a therapeutic backdrop to keeping life fit. One doesn’t need to “get away to the country” to find natural places/spaces in daily life that will benefit sustaining TLF. The retreat takes place in an urban setting framing the social aspect of reintegration.
Pamlico Rose will offer The Total Life Fitness Retreat several times a year starting in the Fall of 2019. For more information and to register for the retreat see Pamlico Rose website: https://www.pamlicorose.org/