PROJECT COHORT – MEETING AN URGENT NEED TO SUPPORT VETERANS
Project Cohort is a revolutionary program that is changing the paradigm of combat veteran mental health care through outdoor adventure. Project Cohort is specifically designed to provide continuation of care. Many Veterans' programs provide a temporary escape from the life challenges Veterans face - the Project Cohort model creates a method that guides participants into already existing resources in the VA system.
Our Nation’s newest Veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are at particular risk for developing post-traumatic stress, anxiety/adjustment challenges, and depression. A 2014 Rand Corporation study estimates that up to 20% of veterans return with PTS. Of those that are diagnosed with PTS, it is estimated that only 10% seek out and complete the minimum number of mental health sessions required for adequate treatment.
ARE SERVICE MEMBERS GETTING MENTAL HEALTH CARE?
Many Veterans who might benefit from mental health treatment do not seek care. In a large national survey of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans, nearly half of those who screened positive for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression reported that they had not received any mental health care in the previous year. The most common reasons given are:
-Stigma associated with utilizing mental health services.
-Lack of social support.
-Entering a group therapy process where the Veteran has not established relationships with other members of the group.
Project Rebirth's Military Initiative, Project Cohort creates small Cohorts of 8-10 Veterans from within the same community. Each Cohort will provide the social structure needed to improve a Veterans' psychological and emotional well-being and provide supportive and emotionally bonded peers.
Veterans who complete Project Cohort are expected to have a higher level of overall wellness and increased employability.
Project Cohort is designed to be easily scalable and will produce measurable outcomes regarding the success of our participating Veterans in entering and sticking with a mental health care program.
Project Cohort has created a three-year pilot designed to study effectiveness. Success is measured through increased mental and physical health, increased social and family health, and greater employability when compared to a control.
The end result will be a continuum of care model integrating existing Veteran peer support, experiential learning and evidence-based therapies.
The partners in Project Cohort bring decades of experience. Each team member and partner is a leader in planning, communications, program design, project management, education, research and analysis.
FROM OUR VETERANS
Inspirational journey of our team member Veteran Brandon Lay and his wife Kate, broadcasted on WHO TV Channel 13 News
Project Cohort is currently working with Georgetown University, Pace University, Felician University and Texas State creating small teams of Veterans, the Cohort, who participate in Veterans education, wilderness adventure and humanitarian service missions during the school year. Please watch the video below which demonstrates why Project Cohort should exist on college campuses.
Directed by Georgetown University students Neve Schadler and Christopher Buffone. Taking a close look at the lives and memories of three contemporary Veterans, "How Can I Tell You About War" reveals the complexities of identifying as a student-Veteran re-acclimating into society.
There are currently two versions of Project Cohort:
Street Cohort. This version of Project Cohort is led by Veterans in any type of community. Participants will come from all walks of life, but share in the universality of being a Veteran. Criteria to participate: must be considered a Veteran in accordance with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to apply.
College Cohort. This version of Project Cohort is designed for enrolled students at a University or College. Cohorts are created at a single school, where all members must be enrolled at that school. Criteria to participate: must meet their school's definition of Veteran to apply.
For more information or to apply, email a Project Cohort team member: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROJECT COHORT’S PARTNERS: BUILDING ON SUCCESS, COMMON SENSE AND COMPLEMENTARY MISSIONS AND SKILLS
Georgetown University has worked closely with Project Rebirth since early 2002. With numerous GU alums as past and present Project Rebirth Board Members (including GU President John J DeGioia) Project Rebirth’s links to GU are deep and durable. Georgetown will serve as the academic home for the research component of Project Cohort and Georgetown students will participate in data collection and analysis.
Pace University and Project Rebirth have introduced a version of the Project Cohort program for Veterans who are enrolled at Pace. This program shares the key components of the original Project Cohort model, modified to best utilize the environment and resources at hand for Veterans on the urban Pace University campus. School-based Cohorts are being planned at several additional colleges - expect updates soon.
HEART 9/11 and a team of Project Cohort’s Veteran participants will be going on a mission to rebuild communities damaged by the recent earthquake in Nepal. Bill Keegan, HEART 9/11’s Founder and Project Rebirth board member, is providing an extraordinary opportunity for Project Cohort participants to fulfill the service component of their program while learning new skills and building a shared sense of purpose. A second mission to flood-ravaged east Texas is also being planned.
The Military Veteran Peer Network is an affiliation of Service Members, Veterans and Family Members dedicated to establish camaraderie and trust with each other, identifying and vetting community resources and, collectively, contributing to the communities where we live.
MyCounterpane provides a platform for patients and caregivers dealing with a chronic illness to tell their story based on how they feel. By doing so, each personal journey is broken into moments, and those moments can be easily searched. MyCounterpane has partnered with Project Cohort to design a service for Veterans and their families. During your time with Project Cohort you will be asked to participate in this effort by using existing services and providing feedback during the design of MyCounterpane for Veterans.
Caldwell Ranch is a founding member of Project Cohort. With over 35,000 acres of West Texas wilderness, Cohorts who are able to visit Caldwell Ranch will experience a pristine part of our country free from the nuisance of things like people and electricity. You can truly see stars from horizon to horizon and bond as a team over a 6-7 day expedition exploring the wilds of West Texas.
For more information or to apply, email a Project Cohort team member: email@example.com