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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Retreat is re-opening its popular Uniformed Service Program (USP) as a remote telehealth service for uniformed professionals who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other duty-related mental health and addiction challenges.

“This is an important step forward in our efforts to restart programs that were forced to close in 2020 due to the pandemic,” said Louis Josephson, the Retreat’s president and chief executive officer. “Because of the lockdown and other COVID-related stressors, we expect that demand for our USP service will be even greater than it was pre-pandemic.”

In light of ongoing concerns about COVID-19 and the rise of viral variants, USP has relaunched as a remote telehealth service where clients enjoy secure internet access to USP staff for individual therapy and medication management, and engage in group programming as virtual peers.

“Over the course of the past year we learned that telehealth can be a highly effective and satisfying mode of treatment that can also help remove certain geographic and other barriers to care,” said Kurt White, LICSW, senior director of Outpatient Programs & Community Initiatives. “We see the ability to provide remote care as a silver lining to what has otherwise been a challenging 18 months for providers and patients alike.”

USP opened at the Retreat in 2009 offering partial hospital and intensive outpatient treatment for active or retired professionals in law enforcement, military, fire, EMS, corrections, and other uniformed services who were dealing with duty-related PTSD and associated problems including drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, and emotional dysregulation.

Since then, hundreds of individuals have gone through the program and gone on to continue successfully in their careers and personal lives. Many have called USP a lifesaving experience.

Anyone interested in learning more about USP or making a referral to the program can visit brattlebororetreat.org/usp or call 1-800-RETREAT (738-7328) for more information.