Coliseum’s STAR program helps veterans with PTSD

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health is launching its new S.T.A.R. program. The Stress, Trauma, Addiction and Recovery Program will help military and veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Phil Hathcock, will volunteer for the program. He wants to share his experience with PTSD with patients. Hathcock served in the Air-Force for more than 30 years.

“I was feeling anger. I was feeling just an overwhelming depression,” Hathcock said. “And then on the other hand I would be quickly on the other side of the spectrum of being aggressive.”

Hathcock remembers the emotional roller coaster he went through while trying to battle PTSD.

“You hear of the symptom of racing thoughts,” said Hathcock. “Well, that would be my mind going 90 to nothing, so the best thing to do before I started getting treatments for the depression and PTSD is, have that drink.”

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs says 12 out of every 100 veterans who served in the Gulf War suffer from PTSD. Hathcock is one of them. Now, he’s stepping in to help the Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health.

“What we want to do is treat individuals with these symptoms as early as we can,” said Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health Assistant Vice-President, Jessica Hatcher.

The program includes 24-hour care, physical training, medication management, outdoor recreation and many more exercises.

“We will do cohort starts,” said Hatcher. “So we will have individuals that will start together and that will progress through the program together as a group.”

They’ll also have help from someone who has been in their boots.

“I’m looking forward to being able to work with these individuals and let them know they’re not alone,” said Hathcock.

Like on the battlefield, Hathcock knows you can’t fight PTSD alone.

“Being in a group of people that’s been there, it changed my life,” said Hathcock.

That’s what he’s hoping to do as a mentor, and as a friend.

If you or anyone you know can benefit from the program, call Life-Line (478) 741-1355 or (800) 548-4221.