UNDER CONSTRUCTION...Welcome to Flight of the Dragonfly Foundation
Helping survivors move foreward
My name is Daniel, I am a thriver. I fought Veteran's Affairs Canada for two years to get help with a severe chronic PTSD label and learn to get back on my feet. It has been 20 years, and, with the VA's continuing help, though I sometimes struggle, sometimes fall, I have learned to keep getting up, that things can get better, and now I live a relatively normal life.
Along the way, though, I met many people, from other veteran's the system had not recognized yet, to people who had survived severe abuse, rape, life threatening situations. It's not just something that happens to soldiers or other frontline workers. It can happen to anyone. Those I met suffered just as much as I felt I had, if not more than I for those who did not survive it. A lot of those people did not have the help I was blessed with. They had no insurance so they could not afford the high cost of long-term counselling therapy. The consequences were devastating for many of them, from social isolation, to self-medication, to attempted, and successful, suicides. I have seen enough, I want to change the way world is working, to turn my issue into my strength, to use what I have learned to make the world a better place. I am teaming up with other like-minded people to form this organization, the flightofthedragonfly.org, to help those the system leaves behind. Our purpose is to help survivors deal with the effects of PTSD by helping where insurance and healthcare plans fail.
Our goal is to help those who need to heal to be able to afford healers. On our own, the journey from survivor to thriver is filled with risk, magnified all the more for those who cannot afford the high cost of professional counselling, have no insurance, and have no other resources.
In Canada, there is no such thing as mental health insurance. If a person is victimized as a part of their job, there may be insurance coverage, but often, it is limited, ending at the moment one is able to return to work, not when they feel healed. Our goal is to help those who feel they need counselling, but their employers' insurance no longer covers it, if it ever did. Surviving is not something that exclusively happens while on the job.
In emergencies, when people are in crisis because of the severe effects of PTSD, especially when the police become involved, Provincial Health Care plans offer as little as a maximum of 6 sessions of emergency counselling. Once again, the goal does not appear to be to help survivors on their healing journeys, but to help to the point that the survivor does not appear to be a threat to themselves or others. If those 6 sessions are insufficient or the survivor has a relapse...the cure can make things worse: lockup until they are SURE the person struggling is not a threat to themself or others. Had they helped beyond 6 sessions, helped as long as the person needed it, things may never have gone so far, so badly for many people. They may actually have learned to cope with the trauma in their lives, learned the coping strategies and methods it took me years to learn. 6 sessions? That's not health care, its an evaluation process for other purposes.
So where does that leave the survivor who needs help but is not covered by Veteran's Affairs, nor Worker's Compensation, nor employee benefits? It leaves them with the consequences of a failed system--self medicating; giving up; isolated from enjoyment of life; reliving trauma over and over again with no relief in sight.
That's why this non-profit organization was created--to help those who need help to get that help when there are no resources to pay for it. 100% of all proceeds from merchandise sales, rallies, events go to creating a funding place where those who cannot afford the cost of Social Worker and Psychologist fees, that can run from $150, $200 to $250 dollars per session/hour or more, can get the help they need. HELP...should not only be for those who can afford it or have enough insurance. We have left too many people behind.
Our goal, then, is to cover those fees for those who can't, so they can afford to get the help they want and need, so they can get back on with living--to go from survivor to thriver.
Who We Are
All members and directors are survivors themselves. Each has distinct stories. Each has faced their own barriers and consequences. Each has moved forward in life and now offers a helping hand to other survivors to reach their own goals, to transform from survivors to thrivers.
Peter: Survivor since childhood; former paratrooper, social worker & social services worker, mission chaplain.
Debbie: Survivor since teens; current business administrator.
Alex: Survivor since childhood; property manager.
What we do:
The dragonfly is internationally seen as symbol of wisdom, change and enlightenment, of metamorphosis and adaptability in life. In Celtic lore it is a symbol of transformation and self-realization. As an Indigenous symbol it is understood as speaking to transformation and self-realization. As such, we chose the Dragonfly as the symbol of what we do, of how we help others gain flight to continue on their own healing journeys. We do not promote one worldview over another, nor dictate or project our individual worldviews onto others...it is your healing journey, we are merely guides to help people find their path, to move forward on their life journeys.
After decades of frontline social service work, outreach mission work, child protection work, and watching the cycles of abuse, trauma, and victimization that is a the cause of many struggles in life, the founder of the Flight of the Dragonfly came to an understanding that a major barrier for people to move forward is the lack of options for people to pursue their own healing journeys as they choose, unconstrained by the individual professional and theoretical perspectives of people in helper roles. A survivor seeks help, is assigned a caseworker or other professional, and the professional decides which theory or intervention is the best fit for a survivor's recovery; a cookie-cutter approach based on the knowledge base of the professional. But survivor experiences are varied, the effects on their lives are diverse, so many survivors start on a path, find it does not answer their needs and concerns, and fall off their healing path, spending their life wandering and relapsing through the revolving door of the helping process, from one helper to another. At Flight of the Dragonfly, we bring survivors and diverse helpers together where each helper respects the role of the other, so that the person seeking change, healing, and moving forward, is the person who decides what path is best for them after seeing what opinions are available. It is the duty of helpers to provide all options, not just those within their respective paradigm. Survivors come to us when they are tired and ready to change from the negative effects of trauma. While we do offer counselling to reach that change stage, when requested, our focus is bringing participants to a retreat where representatives of various healing methodologies also come. Helpers from across the spectrum of methodological options present what they have to offer, and survivors can stay on track by hearing and trying what is presented as options, and, if the option chosen doesn't work for them, trying a different selection without falling back off their path toward change. We do that through a holistic approach. Healing is not about addressing just the emotional, the psychological, the spiritual or the physical, but about each aspect of the whole person through a holistic understanding of our nature as human beings. So we offer all options, we do not reject helpers through any personal bias of what may work or what may not--it is the survivors choice of what helping path speaks to them; it is their journey, our duty is to offer all the options we can. It is our objective to offer diverse spiritual leaders, assorted social work helpers, psychologists, therapists with diverse specializations, a forum for survivors to chat amongst themselves as to how they feel and what they might want--in fact, if the survivor community can imagine it, our objective is to find it and make it available, to make the revolving door a gateway where if one path doesn't work, they are not abandoned back to surviving, left without help or support. Our goal is to help maintain your goal of healing, to help you reach your goal of transformation and personal enlightenment, self-realization.
What we do is help survivors become thrivers, to help people find balance, peace and harmony in life, to live life to their fullest, to see that, yes, they have survived, and now they can go on living.
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started"