Ravensview treats first responders, military and veterans as a distinctive group, whose workplace experiences are unique and present unique challenges. Our expertise is based on Homewood’s decades of expert treatment experience for first responders and military. Clinical experience has shown that first responders, military and veterans can relate to one another’s experiences in a powerful way, and treatment is built around this.

Learn more about treatment for first responders, military and veteransContact us today at 1-866-203-1793 or reach out online

The Guardians Program


The Guardians Program at Ravensview is a dedicated mental health and addiction treatment program, specifically designed for first responders, military and veterans. We built this program for the individuals who have experienced the unique challenge of protecting, serving and guarding their fellow citizens. Our evidence-based treatment program recognizes these individuals have unique treatment needs which may include exposure to traumatic situations, depression, anxiety and addiction challenges. The Guardians Program is built on many decades of experience treating first responders, military and veterans, as well as the nationally recognized expertise of Homewood Health, which has over 135 years of experience treating mental health and addiction challenges. The Guardians Program at Ravensview is a tailored treatment program designed specifically to address these challenges and build the foundations for lasting recovery.

The program is delivered as an inpatient service—this means that clients come and stay at the facility for their treatment, which usually lasts about six to nine weeks. During this period of treatment, clients receive a structured program of therapy, which includes cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy, occupational therapy, and important additional therapies like horticulture therapy and recreation therapy, which provide opportunities for stimulating group and individual activities.

The Guardians Program is led by a team of mental health professionals who are highly experienced in working with first responders, military and veterans. This team includes a range of healthcare specialists including: psychiatrists, addictions medicine specialists, psychologists, 24-hour nursing staff, and a number of other clinical professionals. At Ravensview, we have a team of expert professionals using evidence-based practices to support clients’ recovery.

Who is The Guardians Program for?


First responders, military and veterans from all cultural and social backgrounds, are supported within the Guardians Program. This group includes:
• Members of the Department of National Defense (DND)
• Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)
• RCMP and regional police forces
• Firefighters
• Paramedics/EMT
• Canadian Border Services or corrections staff
• Sheriffs
• Emergency dispatchers
• Retired (non-active members) of any of the above

Why choose The Guardians Program?


We have built our program on the best available evidence and use the most strongly research-based practices. The Guardians Program includes:
• Specific assessments to evaluate the mental health difficulties commonly experienced by first responders, military and veterans used to guide the development of a treatment program tailored to the individual’s needs
• Cognitive processing therapy for clients with post-traumatic stress
• Specific cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy groups
• Return to duty programming for those who aim to return to their posts
• Strong case management and enhanced reporting to stakeholders (i.e. employer, insurer, etc.)
• Specific recovery management and family programming

Treatment


The Guardians Program is equipped to treat a range of mental health and addiction issues, including the difficulties that are most common among first responders, military and veterans. Research has shown that the most common difficulties faced by these groups include: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety disorders, and substance use difficulties. Our program was designed to respond to these specific treatment needs.

Programming centers on the evidence-based treatment of:

  • Trauma and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): can occur after exposure to a traumatic event or repetitive exposure to upsetting or disturbing events or experiences. People who have experienced trauma and or have been diagnosed with PTSD can experience a number of symptoms, like flashbacks, negative thoughts and feelings about the event, anger and feelings of injustice, and attempts to avoid reminders of the traumatic event(s).
  • Depression, anxiety and other mental health difficulties including but limited to: obsessive-compulsive disorder, burnout and excessive work-related stress
  • Substance use disorders and addictions, including: alcohol abuse/addiction, addiction to opiates or other pharmaceuticals, and other drug addictions

In fact, it would be common for clients to arrive at Ravensview, with the goal of addressing multiple different challenges (for instance, PTSD and addiction often happen at the same time). This is known as ‘concurrent presentation,’ and the Guardians Program at Ravensview is designed to help clients with these types of more complex issues.

The Ravensview Approach


The Ravensview approach is inclusive, individualized, and evidence-based. Clients in the Guardians Program receive a comprehensive assessment and supported transition into treatment—each client is assessed by a psychiatrist, an addiction specialist physician (if needed), and a psychologist or other mental health specialist. The client is then paired with a prime therapist—a mental health professional with specialized training and experience working with first responders, military and veterans. When needed, clients may also undergo detox (i.e. in cases where substance use/addiction is a major problem), and can be treated using medication as well as psychotherapy.

All of our programs benefit from Ravensview’s unique treatment location on Vancouver Island, which offers a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities, which we use for structured therapeutic activities. The facility itself is located a tranquil mountain, in a private and peaceful setting with access to natural trails, and John Dean Provincial Park.

Family Support


Another feature of the Guardians Program is the strong relationship and communication we maintain with the client's family—in cases when this is desirable and appropriate to the client. Research has shown that the support and understanding of family members, and significant others, increases the positive effects of mental health treatment. Homewood Ravensview includes family members as part of the treatment process and provides supportive programming to assist with their education and needs.

Other Programs


Executives and Professionals


World-class, expert-led treatment program designed for the unique treatment needs of professionally-accomplished individuals and the specific challenges they face.

Learn more

Young Adults


Specialized program tailored to the needs of younger adults who range in age from 19 years to their mid-twenties. The program includes a wide variety of therapeutic activities to support recovery.

Learn more

Adults


Western Canada’s leading mental health and addiction treatment program for adults. The program is based on the best available evidence on mental health and addiction treatment.

Learn more

Recovery Management


Recovery management is a core foundation of Homewood Ravensview and is provided for one full year after completing inpatient programming. Recovery management allows for continuity of care and support, to enable the individual to re-engage and reintegrate into their life and career.

Services offered to Guardians Program participants take advantage of Homewood Health’s national resources and provide ongoing support after their inpatient programming is complete. Recovery management programming is based on a comprehensive assessment, administered when the participant finishes inpatient treatment. Recovery management service and support is provided for one full year at Homewood Clinic locations to ensure that the participant maintains their progress. Additional recovery management services may be suitable to further enhance recovery and are available across Homewood’s network of clinics and also available through its national network of treatment providers.