When a natural disaster strikes, it can leave survivors feeling overwhelmed and helpless. But there are resources available to help victims, their families, and the community heal.
Stars of HOPEis an arts-based crisis intervention and social support organization dedicated to helping survivors and communities after devastating events. They provide research-based coping techniques and compassionate social support to those in the days, weeks, and years after a life-changing tragedy.
Stars of HOPE offers a path to healing designed by survivors for survivors and guided by art therapists and mental health professionals. When a disaster strikes, they take action and quickly distribute wooden stars adorned with heartfelt messages and vibrant colors to key community areas, first responders, and local organizations. These stars are powerful symbols of compassion, strength, and unity, and are a tangible reminder of the unwavering support and solidarity that comes to us from every corner of the world. In addition to Stars of HOPE, there are other organizations that provide trauma recovery services specifically for survivors of natural disasters in Colorado Springs.
The Veterans Health & Trauma Clinic (VHTC) provides more than 7,000 services to its customers per year. They work tirelessly to improve the lives of veterans, first responders, and their families in Colorado. The Institute for Trauma Recovery is another organization that provides trauma recovery services in Colorado Springs. They specialize in PTSD treatment and counseling for survivors of psychological trauma related to military service, natural disasters, domestic violence, car accidents, sexual assaults, or trauma suffered by first responders.
The Institute's research projects have been funded through government and private entities such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Colorado Springs Health Foundation (CSHF), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), El Paso County Public Health and the Gates Foundation. The Institute offers evidence-based treatment for active duty military and veterans, family members, survivors of physical trauma or natural disasters, first responders, and behavioral health providers. One type of therapy they offer is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. In EMDR therapy, the therapist activates the person's brain through bilateral stimulation to help them finish processing a traumatic experience.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another type of therapy that has been shown to be beneficial specifically for trauma. CBT helps people identify negative thought patterns that can lead to unhealthy behaviors or emotions. It also helps people learn how to replace those negative thoughts with more positive ones. Art therapy is another form of therapy that can be used to help trauma survivors cope with their experiences.
Art therapy can help people express their feelings in a safe environment without having to use words. It can also help people process their emotions in a creative way. Colorado courts have appointed Ryder to carry out evaluations of parental responsibilities (PRE) and investigations on children and families (CFI) in nearly 200 cases. Ryder specializes in PTSD treatment and counseling for survivors of psychological trauma related to military service, natural disasters, domestic violence, car accidents, sexual assaults, or trauma suffered by first responders.
Whether in childhood and adolescence, in adulthood or even in old age, anyone can suffer trauma at any time. All of these services are offered in-person in Colorado Springs or throughout Colorado using online therapy. Trauma can be acute, chronic, or complex, and can elicit a variety of different responses in the person's physical body, emotional state, and mental capacity when it comes to healing. While all types of trauma suffered can have negative consequences, studies have shown that sexual trauma is more likely to cause more significant negative effects on mental health than any other type of assault.
At least ninety percent of adults in the United States have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. It is important for those who have experienced trauma to know that they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them heal.