Nonprofit has high hopes for PTSD treatment breakthrough

By Howard Altman The Tampa Tribune

Restaurateur Chris Sullivan and post-traumatic stress disorder researcher Carrie Elk have created a new nonprofit to study the effectiveness of a promising new treatment for an invisible injury affecting hundreds of thousands of troops and veterans.

Sullivan, a partner in Carmel Café and Wine Bar, is a big supporter of military charities and helped create the Flight 93 Memorial. Last year, he listened to an Army veteran talk about how the treatment, called accelerated resolution therapy, changed his life. The veteran took part in a study on the therapy at the University of South Florida in which Elk was a co-investigator.

Sullivan came away so impressed that after the preliminary studies, he put together a team of investors and partnered with Elk to create Military Associated Trauma Treatment, Education, & Research Services, or MATTERS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to studying accelerated resolution therapy.

The plan is to create the largest study yet on the effectiveness of the therapy in treating PTSD in the military population. Elk and her team of specially trained therapists will treat 200 to 300 combat veterans at sites around the country. The headquarters is a donated office on Gunn Highway.

Treating those with PTSD “is something important that needs to get done,” Sullivan said.

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