This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Every day, an average of 22 veterans take their own lives. This tragic reality motivated Josh and Lisa Lannon and Tom Spooner to do something.
They founded Warriors Heart, an addiction treatment center that provides peer-to-peer solutions to help veterans, law enforcement and first responders who struggle with addiction and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Josh Lannon took the time to explain the challenges that veterans face, what Warriors Heart is doing and what he hopes will come of their efforts.
Lannon says the VA isn’t the answer. “While the VA (Veterans Administration) has good people, they can’t keep up with the needs of veterans after 14 years of war.”
The program, Lannon says, is holistic in its approach. “We are looking at the “whole body” versus sending a warrior to multiple doctors because so many are dealing with multiple issues including addiction, PTSD and MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury).”
Lannon notes that the focus of the effort is to help those who have helped us. “Our facility specializes in serving Warriors. These are the men and women who are currently active and veteran members from organizations that protect and serve the citizens of the United States, e.g, Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force , law enforcement, fire, paramedics, first responders, hospital personnel and civilian warriors.”
Warriors heart relies on senior veterans to share their insights with those who are suffering today. “ Warriors Heart is a community of elder warriors, healers and support staff united in the battle of addiction and PTSD. Together, we serve and support our warriors who are still suffering and their loved ones.”
He notes, “Warrior’s Heart currently has warriors answering hotline calls 24×7, and anyone can call for help: 844-448-2567.”
“The Warriors Heart program is covered by most insurance,” Lannon says. “A Foundation has also been created, Operation Warriors Heart Foundation, and people can make donations to support a warrior in need of financial support for the healing program. This 501(c)(3) will help supplement the cost of treatment and assist in placing service dogs for free to those who deserve the extra battle buddy when returning home.”
On Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, Lannon will join me here for a live discussion about the work of Warriors Heart and the effort to help those who have given so much for us. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Warriors Heart:
Warriors Heart is providing a peer-to peer based solution to help the over 13 million American Military, Veterans, Law Enforcement and First Responders faced with the self-medicating struggles of alcohol addiction, prescription and drug addiction and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). With decades of experience in addiction healing, military service and law enforcement, the 3 Warriors Heart Founders are dedicated to serving warriors. Successful Private Treatment Facility Providers, Josh and Lisa Lannon and former Special Forces Tom Spooner (Green Beret, Delta Force Operator and Mission 22 Co-Founder) are leading the team on this special mission of warriors healing warriors. Warriors Heart has also partnered with Mission 22 (established to raise awareness of the fact that that the US has an average of 22 veteran suicides per day). Warriors Heart Founders’ work has been featured by KENS5 CBS CBS -0.21% News San Antonio, FOX 10 News Phoenix and Addiction Pro magazine.
Before going into the behavioral health field, Josh apprenticed with his father in the nightclub industry, eventually running the clubs. Under his leadership, it was common to have nightly door counts up to 1500 patrons. His team led the Las Vegas nightclub to be voted the #1 country nightclub, 5 years in a row. Exciting as the Vegas lifestyle was in his 20s, it took its toll. Facing a divorce and being spiritually broken, Josh checked himself into a rehab center – a decision that would forever change his life. In 2001, Josh dedicated himself to creating a career in sobriety and building businesses that are more socially conscious. He retired from the nightclub industry and, together, Josh and Lisa Lannon launched Journey Healing Centers, a private drug and alcohol treatment center. JHC grew to 6 locations with 100 team members. Then in late 2013, Elements Behavioral Health, a leading nationwide provider, acquired JHC. Josh’s continued passion for building businesses that assists those who are struggling from addiction. This is one of the driving forces behind Warriors Heart.