Recovery program for women veterans expands after moving to Waco

Posted at 11:08 AM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 21:39:47-05

A program that helps treat women who have suffered trauma is now housed at the Doris Miller Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Waco. 

The Women's Recovery in Supportive Environment or RISE will treat victims of military sexual trauma and combat trauma. It will also help those with substance use disorders and vocational rehabilitation needs.

RISE, which used to be called Women's Trauma Recovery Unit, was previously housed at the Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center in a mixed gender environment.

"There are times, when, depending on how extreme the trauma may have been, that women don't feel safe in an environment with men and struggle in their personal relationships with men. I think that's why having a separate facility, specifically for women is so beneficial to help them heal and rebuild trust," said Texas Veterans Commission Women Veterans Program Manager Anna Baker said.

At the Temple facility, eight women could be helped throughout the eight-week program.

However, at the renovated space in Waco, 15 women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma will be initially treated but the program is expected to expand to 30 beds.

"We have invested a lot of time and energy in remodeling this unit to be what it is today and it has made a huge difference with a mind toward creating a homelike environment where our female veterans can feel comfortable doing the hard work of recovery," said Acting Chief of Mental Health at Waco VA Dr. Stacy Ritz said.

Ritz added those who are treated come from different areas of Texas and around the country.

The Post Traumatic Stress  Residential Rehabilitation Program for men in Waco moved to the location where the Women's Trauma Recovery Unit was located in Temple. 

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