Welcome back to The Beef! In conversation with us today we have Kyle from ProjectZero, where professional counseling meets a peer support group for veterans and first responders. During today’s discussion, we hear the story of how ProjectZero came to fruition, how it benefits those who take advantage of the services offered, and what the two different avenues of support look like. Kyle describes the different techniques used to connect the relevant people to the services they need, and explains how campfire storytelling enables veterans and first responders to open up in ways they cannot do elsewhere. We touch on vulnerability and discuss the possibility of approaching mental health from a maintenance perspective, rather than an emergency one. His approach is to always want the best for people, but never to consider them broken. Join us today to hear what that means, find out how the veteran in your life can find the mental health care they need, and learn how you can get involved. Thanks for joining us!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Ice breaker question: What’s your favorite scary movie?
- Mental health services offered by ProjectZero to veterans and first responders.
- Kyle’s career background leading up to being deployed into the military.
- How meeting veterans and seeing their progress motivated him to support them.
- How Texas is one of the worst states for offering mental health services.
- Why they use word of mouth for professional mental health services, but market adventure-based therapy more publicly.
- How campfire storytelling enables veterans and first responders to talk about things they can’t mention elsewhere.
- The professional services you get access to which are totally confidential and anonymous.
- The unscripted approach of just sharing stories with one another.
- Why it’s so important that service providers have an understanding for veteran’s backgrounds.
- How peer and professional relationships differ and why it is dangerous to blur the line.
- Why it’s often the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ when it comes to mental health.
- How they approach people wanting the best for them, but never assuming that they are broken.
- What changed when Kyle heard the lesser-told stories of veterans.
- Vulnerability and how a little goes a long way.
- Why the emphasis on mental health can also be on staying good.
- Reading, podcasts, and exercise.
- The power of sustaining where you are at instead of always moving forward.
- Who qualifies to be a part of ProjectZero: prior and current first responders, caregivers, and spouses if there is space available.
- How to support ProjectZero: connect them to qualified counselors, donate gear and food, volunteer.
- Where to find ProjectZero online.
“Honestly, from my service in the military, watching people that I served with, and then meeting people along the way; that was the biggest catalyst, watching the meter move on and how they were successful, and those who are unfortunately no longer here with us. How can we make a difference in some way we know how?” — Kyle Shutic [0:12:24]
“On our professional services side, you can go talk to somebody. It’s completely anonymous, and completely confidential. It doesn’t cost you anything. You go to, on average, thirteen sessions, some one-on-one, and some group.” — Kyle Shutic [0:20:02]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: