At the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, Army Veteran Harvey Dubose volunteers for and has participated in the Treatment, Recovery and Activity Center (TRAC) program. In TRAC, recovery is a journey that inspires Veterans to promote wellness and personal growth.
The TRAC program focuses on Veterans’ strengths, needs, abilities and preferences, and is considered the last link between the hospital and the community. It teaches Veterans to cope with mental illness, deal with daily living activities, adjust to life’s challenges, develop the skills to live life to the fullest, and avoid hospitalization.
“It keeps me from having anxiety, and I feel good inside,” said Dubose. “It’s like a brother and sisterhood here. It’s a family you come to do some classes with.”
As a peer and volunteer, Dubose wants other Veterans to know that someone is there for them.
How has TRAC helped Dubose?
No more “isolation, drugs and alcohol, and I got my confidence back,” he said. “It’s a great place and I just keep coming back. I don’t have to be ashamed. I can move on.”
Dubose is a member of the Health Rhythms Drumming for Recovery group. On May 15, he and a group of fellow Veterans and staff performed music at the Ninth Annual VA2K Walk and Roll. The event is held to help support homeless Veterans through donations and promote wellness.
Research indicates that drumming enhances recovery through inducing relaxation. Drumming produces pleasurable experiences, enhanced awareness of preconscious dynamics, release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self.
The health rhythms drumming class is just one of the many successful classes offered through the TRAC program.
In May 2019, over 200 individuals attended a mental health fair to learn about mental health recovery. There are many different mental health program opportunities available to Veterans, but the most important thing to remember is to talk with your primary care and/or mental health provider, especially if you notice new symptoms or problems. Being aware can help you find what works best for you.
Lisa Hollenbeck is a Public Affairs Specialist at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center and is a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. She was stationed at Kaneohe Bay, HI, and served as a Trumpet player in the Marine Forces Pacific Band.
Drumming photo by Jennifer Brownlee-Parrott, Visual Information Specialist.