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Strong Hope

downandoutsailor21

Active Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Has anyone been to strong hope in Utah?
If so what was your experiences like? How did you enjoy it? Pros & cons
 

Shmoe

Well-Known Member
Registered Member
Hello,

I spent 5 weeks at the Strong Hope Military Program (Men's) in 2020. I was in an extremely bad place at the time and almost didn't survive long enough to go. I can credit the program for introducing me to several modalities that work well for me and that my regular treatment team then emphasized when I returned. I have very few negatives and many positives about when I was there so I will only share some of them. Someone else's experience may be completely different due to a variety of factors like individual participation level or the overall group dynamic.

Once in the unit, two other patients who had been there the longest met me, gave me a tour and explained the basic process. They eased my anxiety significantly. The unit is mostly managed by the military men in it (All branches, active, reserve, guard, retired). From what I understand, it is unusual for an inpatient facility, but the administrators expect a bunch of vets to be able to behave themselves.

There were two main types of trauma that I heard about while I was there. Many of us were there for combat related PTSD, and related psychological issues. A number of patients were there to get help with the same stuff but related to sexual trauma. My big con was related to this. It didn't even really have anything to do with the staff or program, but a retired veteran who felt that "those guys" were using spaces that a "combat vet" could be using. This caused quite a ruckus and the administrators ultimately had to get involved.

I was introduced to a bunch of different types of therapy. Almost all of them were mandatory. Even if a person absolutely hates it, like I hated some aspects of music therapy, it should be tried anyways. I was surprised at how well some thing worked for me that I thought were garbage beforehand. Some types of treatment offered were cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive processing therapy, experiential therapy, EMDR (eye movement thing that worked extremely well for me), and one-on-one therapy. I found out I enjoyed a type of yoga and I loved going to the cross-fit training a couple times a week for recreational therapy.

The best clinical thing, for me, about attending the Strong Hope Military program was that they provided a variety of treatment options in an intense package. I was able to come home with that information and my regular psychiatric team incorporated some of the things that worked into my treatment program. At Strong Hope I was able to get 24 hour supervised care from people who really understood my problems; people who didn't even flinch when they had me recall and describe events, smells, sounds, or images.

The best personal thing that happened was meeting two men that are still very close friends. One is an Army Senior NCO who happens to be gay and was brutally beaten, demeaned, and raped because of it. He understands the little monkey on my back that whispers in my ear that there is an easier way to do this and don't need to hurt anymore.
The other is a Marine Staff Sergeant who is haunted by the terrible things he saw and did during his multiple Afghanistan tours. I joke that he looks like a flying squirrel with gills from being a combat swim instructor for to long.

So, simple recap:

If you or anyone you know has a need, I recommend jumping at the opportunity to go to SH. I received better and more extensive care there than I ever did at any military or VA facility. The relationships I made there are nearly the same caliber as the ones I have with buddies I've deployed with. The treatment team there is the second best I've ever had (only because I have an off-post therapists who specialize in combat trauma and I have a psych who used to sit on PEBs years ago). My wife and I still use the things they taught us on a continuous basis. They're not just for a specific type of veteran or certain circumstances. They're there to provide help in the best manner possible.

My apologies for vomiting on your post. Mental health support is something that I have supported for a long time, way before I ended up needing it myself.

Best Wishes,
James
 

chaplaincharlie

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
#Shmoe

Nice review. Thanks for sharing your experience.
 

downandoutsailor21

Active Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello,

I spent 5 weeks at the Strong Hope Military Program (Men's) in 2020. I was in an extremely bad place at the time and almost didn't survive long enough to go. I can credit the program for introducing me to several modalities that work well for me and that my regular treatment team then emphasized when I returned. I have very few negatives and many positives about when I was there so I will only share some of them. Someone else's experience may be completely different due to a variety of factors like individual participation level or the overall group dynamic.

Once in the unit, two other patients who had been there the longest met me, gave me a tour and explained the basic process. They eased my anxiety significantly. The unit is mostly managed by the military men in it (All branches, active, reserve, guard, retired). From what I understand, it is unusual for an inpatient facility, but the administrators expect a bunch of vets to be able to behave themselves.

There were two main types of trauma that I heard about while I was there. Many of us were there for combat related PTSD, and related psychological issues. A number of patients were there to get help with the same stuff but related to sexual trauma. My big con was related to this. It didn't even really have anything to do with the staff or program, but a retired veteran who felt that "those guys" were using spaces that a "combat vet" could be using. This caused quite a ruckus and the administrators ultimately had to get involved.

I was introduced to a bunch of different types of therapy. Almost all of them were mandatory. Even if a person absolutely hates it, like I hated some aspects of music therapy, it should be tried anyways. I was surprised at how well some thing worked for me that I thought were garbage beforehand. Some types of treatment offered were cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive processing therapy, experiential therapy, EMDR (eye movement thing that worked extremely well for me), and one-on-one therapy. I found out I enjoyed a type of yoga and I loved going to the cross-fit training a couple times a week for recreational therapy.

The best clinical thing, for me, about attending the Strong Hope Military program was that they provided a variety of treatment options in an intense package. I was able to come home with that information and my regular psychiatric team incorporated some of the things that worked into my treatment program. At Strong Hope I was able to get 24 hour supervised care from people who really understood my problems; people who didn't even flinch when they had me recall and describe events, smells, sounds, or images.

The best personal thing that happened was meeting two men that are still very close friends. One is an Army Senior NCO who happens to be gay and was brutally beaten, demeaned, and raped because of it. He understands the little monkey on my back that whispers in my ear that there is an easier way to do this and don't need to hurt anymore.
The other is a Marine Staff Sergeant who is haunted by the terrible things he saw and did during his multiple Afghanistan tours. I joke that he looks like a flying squirrel with gills from being a combat swim instructor for to long.

So, simple recap:

If you or anyone you know has a need, I recommend jumping at the opportunity to go to SH. I received better and more extensive care there than I ever did at any military or VA facility. The relationships I made there are nearly the same caliber as the ones I have with buddies I've deployed with. The treatment team there is the second best I've ever had (only because I have an off-post therapists who specialize in combat trauma and I have a psych who used to sit on PEBs years ago). My wife and I still use the things they taught us on a continuous basis. They're not just for a specific type of veteran or certain circumstances. They're there to provide help in the best manner possible.

My apologies for vomiting on your post. Mental health support is something that I have supported for a long time, way before I ended up needing it myself.

Best Wishes,
James
Thank you for sharing your experience !
 
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