It was cold and rainy but that didn't stop a group of first responders from isolating themselves for two days on the historic Wineglass Ranch all in an effort to raise funds and awareness for first responders and military dealing with PTSD.
The two day event called "Alone Together" saw a wide range of first responders and military members sharing their difficult stories and talking about their recovery methods.
The goal is to raise $50,000 to renovate and update the 100-year old Wineglass Ranch farmhouse, donated by the Wearmouth and Eklund family.
Bryce Talsma who was a Captain with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was one of the people isolating on the ranch.
Talsma says he met one of the lead organizers, Paul Wagman last fall and connected immediately and wanted to be apart of it all.
"I was actually on the recovery side of my own operational stress injury and trying to find a way to make our community better, make it stronger. I mean there's so much negativity and so much stress especially with this COVID crisis and the first responders, it's absolutely breaking my heart and how can we make it so they don't have to go through these dark times alone and for me, it was just an easy sell and yeah, I came all in."
Talsma says one of the great things about the Wineglass Wellness Retreat is the people who will be there to seek help will have something in common with the people who run the facility.
"One of the things about what this is going to be is it's a peer-directed, expert supported and community based program. It's those three factors. The peer support is the authentic, it's the real. It allows the people who are suffering the most, it gets them out of their basement, it's gets them out from feeling all alone. Someone can understand you."
Talsma says there's no "one size fits all" approach to recovering from PTSD.
"It's expert-driven. There's a whole a la carte menu of treatment and therapy options because there's no silver bullet when it comes to overcoming these kinds of injures and we need to be able to show you there's a bunch of menus and you need to say what captivates you? Is it archery, is it music, is it going to be going to be massages, is it going to be talk therapy?."
There will be a wide-range of services offered at the retreat including equine therapy, meditation, yoga, nutrition and native healing.
He says they're lucky to be able to offer this place for people to come and get help but not everyone will initially be up for coming out.
"It's a physical centre and if you're still in your basement we're going to create a digital centre where you can access these things remotely and say you're not alone. As much as you feel alone we are together and that's why we named this first, initial fundraising campaign, Alone Together."
For more information on the Wineglass Wellness Retreat or to make a donation go here.
91.5 CochraneNow was live on location all day long on Friday to help raise funds for the retreat.
A fundraising total has not been made available yet.