The HEAT Factory is a 14-week program for veterans with PTSD. Starting with an exercise program promoting health and wellness. Veterans will work out with a trainer in small groups, consisting of all veterans, approximately 3 times per week. This has been shown to improve PTSD symptom severity and psychological quality of life (Goldstein, 2018), as well as promote a sense of mastery, and enhance sleep. Exercise meditates stress reactivity (Anderson & Shivakumar, 2013; Rimmele et al., 2007) and improvements have been seen in selective attention, information, processing speed, and cognitive flexibility (Baker et al., 2010), and executive function which mediates emotional regulation (Aupperle, Melrosea, Stein, & Martin, 2012).
Yoga classes will also be a part of the program to encourage a more calm physical and psychological state. Practicing yoga "helps to regulate effective arousal, increases ability to experience emotions safely in the present moment, and promotes a sense of safety and comfort within one's body" and may promote symptom reduction (West, Liang, & Spinazzola, 2017).
Weekly group meetings will address various topics such as managing anxiety and anger, improving relationships, self-care, nutrition, improving communication skills, all in an effort to assist the veterans in reintegrating into civilian life more successfully. This will culminate in assisting them in determining what they wish to do with their life. Return to school? Volunteer? Mentor? Whatever they feel their purpose in life is.