A newly-formed non-profit corporation is hosting a cookout Saturday in Minocqua to give first responders of all types a place where they can decompress and talk about PTSD.
While most people are familiar with military personnel suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Responders Retreat founder Liz Bartholomew says she founded the organization to provide law enforcement and other responders with a place...
"....we forget how much the police, fire and even the dispatchers see or hear in their daily calls for us. It can play a very big part in their lives, whether they had one bad call or many calls over the years. Sometimes they can't get those pictures, sounds or smells out of their heads...."
She says responders also need a place to relax and talk about what they've experienced. She says they're hosting the cookout at Driftwood Lodge in Minocqua Saturday from noon to four p.m. She says they are in the process of possibly buying the long time resort.
Bartholomew says they wanted to provide an informal setting such as a cookout to introduce themselves to the community...
"....my husband, after many years of service, got PTSD following a fire he was in. In our family we had to learn how it affected him and how it affected his co-workers, but also how it affected myself and my children. He did seek counseling and when we moved to the Northwoods it was another whole level of healing for him....."
She says the relative solitude of the Northwoods is a great offering for people in need of healing.
Bartholomew says the retreat will be for responders from here and across the country. Driftwood Lodge is off state Highway 70 west Minocqua to Mercer Lake Road and follow the signs. More information is at respondersretreat@ gmail.com.