S.T.A.R Behavioral Health
Help for First Responders, Military and Veterans with PTSD and Addiction
Nightmares, flashbacks, depression, anxiety — many first responders, soldiers and veterans, and their families, struggle with these and other symptoms every day. If you’ve served your country or your community and are now dealing with post-traumatic stress (PTS), a drug or alcohol addiction, or other mental health issues, don’t go it alone. Turn to people who know what you’re going through, and more importantly, how to help you get past it.
Garden Park Medical Center’s STAR (Stress, Trauma, Addiction, Recovery) program is the only one of its kind in the Mississippi Bay area. Our nine-bed unit provides 24-hour care and treatment for active-duty military, veterans, first responders and their dependents with PTS and addiction.
Mental health professionals who’ve been there
Our board-certified clinical psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner both have military experience and specialized training in working with soldiers, veterans and first responders. They understand their behavioral health challenges have helped hundreds of military families and individuals such as first responders that suffer from related mental health challenges . They’ll work with you and your doctor to help you find the best path to long-term well-being and peace of mind.
Reach out for help
You can contact us directly to see if you qualify and would benefit from the STAR program. You’ll need to be evaluated by your doctor or another medical professional, and we’ll work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. We also accept referrals from military physicians and commanding officers.
For more information or to make a referral, call our director of behavioral outreach at (228) 575-7040, or send us a message.
STAR Wellness Program Frequently Asked Questions
Garden Park Medical Center’s STAR Wellness Program provides intensive inpatient care and treatment for active-duty military, veterans and retirees who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction or other serious mental health issues. STAR stands for Stress, Trauma, Addiction, Recovery.
The program might be the answer if you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms such as:
• Depression, anxiety, irritability or other mood changes
• Nightmares or flashbacks of combat-related or other trauma
• Avoidance of places, people or events related to the trauma
• Low interest in activities you once enjoyed
• Feeling alone and alienated from others
• Hyperviligance (always on guard, frequently checking doors and windows, sensitive to noises or surprises)
• Self-destructive or reckless behavior
• Thoughts of self-harm or of harm to others
• Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
• Overuse or abuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs or other substances
If symptoms like these are interfering with your life, work, family or other relationships, please seek help. If the STAR program is not the right fit, talk to your doctor or other trusted professional about how to find the help you need.
An entire wing of Garden Park Medical Center’s fourth floor is dedicated to the STAR program. The unit has nine beds, private rooms, an activity room and other comforts of home.
The length of your stay will depend on your treatment plan and the nature and severity of your condition. Your daily schedule may include medication, family counseling, group therapy, relaxation, guided imagery and other proven techniques. Some patients enjoy dinner and a movie in the evenings.
The program’s director is board-certified clinical psychiatrist Jeremy Owens, MD. Dr. Owens spent four years as an Air Force psychiatrist. During that time, he deployed with the Army to a forward operating base in eastern Afghanistan, where he spent seven months as the only psychiatrist in a combat stress clinic. He knows what the rigors of war can do to a person, and is committed to helping soldiers and veterans achieve long-term physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Working closely with Dr. Owens is Ralph Burroughs, APRN-BC, a psychiatric nurse practitioner who spent more than 10 years in the Air Force providing psychiatric care to active duty service members, retirees and dependents. He deployed twice in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was recognized by the attorney general of the Air Force for launching a program to screen returning soldiers for traumatic brain injury and combat stress illnesses. More than 2,800 service members were treated as a result.
Commanders, first sergeants, and first line supervisors are welcome to visit soldiers or address administrative issues at any time during the day. Family members may also visit, based on what’s appropriate for the patient’s needs.
General visiting hours are from 2:30-4:30pm.
Garden Park Medical Center recognized the need for intensive treatment for military families, and the limited resources on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. To get approval and launch the program, we worked with several partners, including:
• The Commander of the 81st Medical Group at Keesler Air Force Base
• The Lieutenant Commander of the Medical Services Corps of the United States Navy
• The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce
• Mississippi Mental Health Association
You can contact us directly to see if you qualify and would benefit from the STAR program. You’ll need to be evaluated by your doctor or another medical professional, and we’ll work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. We also accept referrals from military physicians and commanding officers. Please contact (228) 575-7040 with further inquires.