Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital Offers Help with PTSD

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PANAMA CITY -- Fort Hood is yet a victim of another active shooter and investigators are linking it to post traumatic stress disorder. Officials say the disorder is linked to military members who may have served in a combat zone.

We have a facility right here in Bay County designed specifically to help both active and retired military members deal with symptoms of PTSD.

Megan Eustis works with the military resiliency unit at the Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital. She knows how to recognize signs and symptoms of PTSD.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been around for a long time. And just think, with the wars we're going through now we're seeing it more with, you know they (military) don't know how to adjust back to their normal life. A lot of the times you know they...We think of 'fight or flight' response for the patient where they don't know how to turn that off. They're used to being in that combat mode,” clinical social worker Megan Eustis said.

The Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital is one of only 15 patriot support programs in America and the only one in the Southeast.

"We have so many Tricare dependents in this area actually the greatest amount of Tricare dependents and Tricare beneficiaries in the country. So for us to be able to provide this service it’s an honor and it’s a privilege," Business Development Director Jep Stokes said.

The hospital can house up to 30 military patients.

Therapists here are using a method called cognitive processing therapy. They say it helps decrease PTSD symptoms in their patients. The therapy focuses on a patients’ awareness of thoughts and feelings.
Eustis offers some words of encouragement.

"It's a great place to come and get help and it’s never too late,” she said.

Area military bases were behind the creation of the resiliency program at Emerald Coast. Active duty personnel seeking treatment are not penalized and can still be deployed.

The hospital also treats any veteran, as well as children, and alcohol dependents.