Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury take more veterans' lives than combat.
That's according to the organization, "Collateral Damage Project," a non-profit hoping to prevent veterans from committing suicide by providing treatment free of charge.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Timothy Barclay is a busy guy. In addition to teaching psychology to the next generation at Liberty University, Barclay also helps patients at a private practice.
Prior to this life, Barclay was all about the military and law enforcement. He served in the Army and then 20 years as a police officer.
In all walks, he seeks to save, and now that passion is rescuing veterans on the verge of ending it all.
"And it was actually through my years on the police department that I was exposed to mental health and mental illness, dealing with people in crisis all the time that I really became interested in the work of psychology," Barclay told CBN News.
Estimates indicate a military veteran commits suicide each hour of each day. Barclay says treating veterans has been frustrating because many take 10 or more psychiatric medications.
"You're not really treating the core issue because what you're looking at is all the synergistic side effects of the combination of medications, and it made treatment very difficult," he said.
Plus, Barclay says the treatment needed to get to the core of complex trauma is rarely covered by insurance, and he believes that adds up to a broken system.
Light Bulb Idea: Collateral Damage Project
"So it was last year, just really thinking about this in earnest, and how can I circumvent this?" he shared. "What can I do to really treat the population that I'm truly passionate about, but without giving these services away and going bankrupt in the process?"
"It was like a light bulb that went off: 'Well the only way to really do that effectively is through a non-profit organization and to raise funds and to do what we do here in private practice, but to offer that to veterans,'" Barclay continued.
That idea led to the Collateral Damage Project or CDP to help vets battling Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and depression.
"And the current state of affairs of how we see all these veterans suffering and committing suicide; they're basically collateral damage to our current system," he said.
Free of Charge
The main goal of Collateral Damage Project is restoring what war has taken. And those associated with the organization say they recognize that veterans were willing to give their lives for Americans and the U.S. - that the least they can do is offer them the best kind of care at no cost.
"So anybody who has a passion and a heart for vets, understanding the current crisis that we're literally losing 20 vets a day to suicide because they don't have access to proper care," he said.
"That's a figure that's dumbfounding, and we ought to be alarmed by that, so people who are compelled by that, need to give to this organization," he continued, fighting back tears.
As funds come in, CDP will offer veterans an intense four-week program including brain mapping, trauma-focused psychotherapy and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.
The program will also offer a year of follow-up care for free.
"CDP is gonna be a great program," Dr. David Mikkelson, a licensed therapist who works with Barclay, told CBN News. "I think the genius of that is bringing together multiple methods of treating trauma, doing it in a very intense format which is great for military folks."
"I mean they're used to an intense environment, and they'll do well in that environment," Mikkelson, who is also a retired Army chaplain, continued. "And then bringing it all under the Gospel of Jesus Christ and recognizing that spiritual renewal and redemption is part of every warrior's story. It's gonna be great."
Currently, Barclay is treating veterans in the Lynchburg, Virginia area as they trickle into his local treatment center. But his goal is to expand it to a large scale center, treating the most severe cases of PTSD and TBI for veterans across the country.
A Miraculous Recovery
One of those patients is retired Marine Isaac Coley.
"I could sit here and tell you the normal symptoms of nightmares, of sleep walking; my wife actually had to sleep with a pillow in between us because of how violent I would get in my sleep," he shared with CBN News.
"So I had the VA that would pop me full of pills and medications, and I had the support groups," he continued. "And I couldn't find what I needed."
Coley says the treatments and spiritual aspect of CDP made a huge difference, including saving his marriage. On top of that, his medications went from as many as ten to just one.
When asked if he was a walking miracle, Coley was overcome with emotion.
"I don't know. I don't know if I would say that because that seems to give me a little bit too much credit," he said.
"I think that... when you first said that, what came to mind was all of the miracles that have happened in my life to bring me to where I am by the glory of God and by his divine leading through people like Tim Barclay and the CDP program," he continued.
Spreading the Word
Coley now wants to spread the word about Collateral Damage Project to fellow veterans.
"A couple nights ago a friend of mine called me; he was gonna take his life," Coley shared. "And I told him, I said, 'No.' I said, 'We veterans need to be the example of what a man can endure and overcome.'"
Barclay is seeking donations for CDP through the organization's website and a gofundme campaign.
Did you know?
God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.