Guardian Hills Veteran Healing Center opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Guardian Hills Ribbon Cutting
Share To Your Social Network

The Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Guardian Hills Veteran Healing Center on Friday, May 17, at their campus in Greencastle, Missouri. The event included tours of the campus and refreshments.

In response to the growing incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) in veterans, Guardian Hills Veteran Healing Center offers free one-week residential retreat programs for veterans on a 28-acre rural campus. The facility, located near Kirksville, Missouri, includes three residential cabins, a 12,000-square-foot multipurpose arena, an art/yoga building, and a renovated historic barn that serves as the dining and social center. Multiple natural features are integrated into the curriculum. “This is a beautiful setting for a retreat,” says Marie Murphree, Executive Director of the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce. Retreat programs utilize immersive educational and therapeutic experiences, including the use of horses, archery, art, yoga, kayaking, a labyrinth, and other activities.

The overall goal is to provide the greatest benefit in the shortest period by aiding in the formation of coping skills and recovery activities that veterans can use, as well as their local support and treatment resources to help veterans thrive. Follow-up support and assistance are provided by regularly scheduled contacts and identifying the appropriate level of ongoing intervention as determined at the retreat’s conclusion.

Retreat-based programs have been proven effective for veteran PTS in numerous studies; however, few are in the Midwest. Numerous national and regional experts in veteran PTS have contributed to our curriculum planning, development, and implementation. Murphree said, “The services offered by Guardian Hills are so important in helping our veterans through the process of dealing with PTS. Northeast Missouri is fortunate to have such a well-researched and staffed facility.”

Expansion of programs to include couples, families, military sexual trauma, and first responders is planned. The administrative headquarters are in Columbia, Missouri.

Share To Your Social Network