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VA Black Hills Health Care System


Women's Retreat

semi annual womens retreat logoTrust the Process, the underlying theme of every retreat, is illustrated by a mighty oak rising up from an acorn. 

The BHHCS Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Outpatient Treatment Program invites YOU to join our women's circle, where you will find support, understanding, and a network of friends.

Who is the retreat for?

This weekend retreat is for Women Veterans of all eras and collateral’s (wives, significant others, mothers, etc.) of male veterans traumatized by experiences during military service.

The weekend is designed for women interested in personal growth and the discovery and/or renewal of inner spiritual resources.

Why attend a retreat?

The VA Black Hills Health Care System Post Traumatic Stress Clinical Team(PCT) provides this workshop as an opportunity for women to pursue personal growth in a peaceful, quiet setting.  Participants are encouraged to share thoughts, values, dreams, and their feelings about their lives.
The major aims of the workshop are to educate participants about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and provide an opportunity to develop new perspectives in relationships, with their Higher Power, family, friends and the broader world in which they live.

The results

  • You will have the opportunity to examine some of the basic questions in your life.
  • Volunteer Facilitators and participants work to develop a supportive community who will take the time to listen to each other.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore the basis of your beliefs  and encouraged to set goals as a means of discovering or renewing your inner spiritual resources.
  • We do not have your answers, but will provide the time, place and much needed support to help you search within yourself.

What some retreat attendees have shared

  • Thank you - so many ways this weekend has helped me. The songs, activities, and games all helped me to reach down deep inside myself and find a part of me that has been buried and neglected for other's sake for too many years.
  • I hope you realize how many lives you are touching. I am not sure I would be here today without all the help from the retreat and the friends I met while I was there. There was a time when life seemed unlivable, but now I know I can survive, and even enjoy life.
  • You have inspired me to settle my long time grudges and "Let go"!
  • The last couple of years I have felt alone and lost. I feel connected again and feel like I can see the path out of the woods again. What a blessing!
  • I want to thank everyone involved in the weekend retreat...You do a wonderful job balancing the laughs and tears. I will forever be grateful for the gentleness of it all!
  • Words fail me when I try to describe what a great experience the PTSD retreat was. What a powerful healing event and just in the nick of time, it seems.
  • Thank you seems so inadequate. Each and every one of you has taught me something special, making my life fuller than it already is.
  • You helped me better understand the "voices in their heads" and how to sort out the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of intuition.
  • The journey was an inner passage for nourishing my heart, spirit and soul; I still feel the ongoing joys and peace of that weekend.

What, when and how?

Because of recent funding and logistical challenges, we will not be able to offer a retreat in Spring 2014. We hope to announce the dates for the Fall 2014 retreat in July 2014. Each retreat begins at 12 pm on a Friday afternoon and ends approximately 2 pm Sunday afternoon. The DAV has awarded a Charitable Trust Grant to help fund these valuable retreats. Therefore, lodging and meals are provided at no cost to eligible participants.  Prior to registration, a brief screening is required.

For Information, Location & Registration

Black Hills VA Health Care System
113 Comanche Road
Fort Meade, SD 57741
Phone: (605) 720.7449
1-800-743-1070 Ext. 7449

About Post Traumatic Stress

What is PTS?

Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) is a normal emotional and psychological response to trauma (a painful, shocking experience).  Common reactions to a traumatic event are shock, anger, disbelief, confusion, insomnia, social withdrawal, self-blame and intrusive thoughts.

Who is likely to suffer from PTS?

Anyone who experiences or witnesses a traumatic event is likely to suffer from PTS. PTS can affect survivors of events such as war, violent attacks/rape, motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, child abuse, suicide or murder.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

After trauma, many survivors feel their lives have changed.  If the trauma-related symptoms persist for more than one month after the event(s), then there is a possibility that an emotional disorder is present. Emotional  damage can occur from surviving an event in one’s life, or the lives of others they are emotionally close to.

PTSD characteristics in spouses, families, & close friends

  • Pre-occupation with the Veterans
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Emotional Numbing
  • Anger and related emotions
  • Over-responsibility (Enabler)
  • Denial
  • Guilt
  • Stress

Click here for additional information about PTSD.