The Town of Blythewood awarded a $100,000 grant to The Big Red Barn Retreat to support Warrior PATHH classes (Progressive and Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) for First Responders that serve the Northeast area of the Midlands, to include law enforcement, EMTs, and firefighters.
The Grant, which was made possible by the American Rescue Plan bill, signed into law March 11, 2021, is designed to deliver direct relief to the American people, which includes supporting a response to harm caused by COVID. For First Responders in our community, the COVID pandemic created significant challenges as they were on the front lines to the grief, trauma, and unknowns of the virus every day. Layer on the mask mandates, heavy lockdowns, isolation, vaccine mandates, and controversy surrounding the additional strains of COVID, the pandemic negatively impacted the mental wellness of our First Responder community.
The funds from this grant will support twelve first responders from the Northeast to attend the Warrior PATHH program between 2022- 2026. Warrior PATHH is a transformative, lifelong, Posttraumatic Growth-based training program that begins with an intensive, in-residence 7-day initiation. It is then followed up by three months of dedicated support, training, accountability, and connection from a team of trained combat veterans and first responders, who have themselves attended a Warrior PATHH program. Warrior PATHH allows first responders who are struggling with job-related stress to transform times of deep struggle into profound strength and lifelong growth.
“I don’t want any officers to be afraid to reach out and get the help that they need” says Robert Stevens, former law enforcement officer and Warrior PATHH alumni. “I really encourage the command staff and police departments to be more open to their officers speaking up when they’re having a mental struggle.”
Robert Stevens attended the Warrior PATHH program in October of 2020 and now serves as a PATHH Guide at the Big Red Barn Retreat. Stevens says of his Warrior PATHH training, “I would say it’s been a night and day difference since coming here (Big Red Barn Retreat Warrior PATHH Program)” says STEVENS “I don’t think the struggle is ever gonna go away, it’s just what you do with the struggle.”
About The Big Red Barn Retreat
The Big Red Barn Retreat (BRBR) is a 501(c)(3) located in Blythewood, South Carolina that provides free services, programs, and training to Veterans, Active-Duty service members, and First Responders struggling with combat-related or critical incident related stress. Established in 2014, the BRBR helps more than 2,500 military and first responders personnel annually. All services provided at the BRBR are funded through grants and private donations. For more information, please visit www.thebigredbarnretreat.org or email [email protected].