How We're Helping People 'Break Free' from Trauma

First of all, what is trauma? By definition, trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. The kinds of experiences that can be deemed traumatic are vast and differ from divorce, illness, natural disasters, abuse, war, torture… the list goes on and on. Because the markers of trauma are widespread, millions of people around the world have experienced some form of trauma, making it one of the biggest epidemics to date. The Breaking Free Foundation is a non-profit organization, and the brain child of seven like-minded people who came together with a common goal to make an impact in the trauma community. We initially came together as a supportive group following the success of the first Victor Walk, which was a ground-breaking initiative against childhood trauma, created by Theo Fleury back in 2013.

BFF was years in the making, after many hours of defining what the need was, and what we wanted our role to be. Some of us are trauma survivors, others are just hard-working supporters who want to make a difference in the community. The name “Breaking Free Foundation” came to fruition because we felt that was the number one thing we wanted to accomplish, was helping people break free from trauma. We recognize that trauma comes in many forms, and its effects are widespread and global. We are coming into the game at the right to help end the trauma epidemic, with the rise of social media, stigmas are being slashed every day. During the 2013 Victor Walk, we saw this courageous wave of people posting on social media "I am a survivor", "I am Victor", or "I am 1 in 3". At that time, even though it was only two years ago, attention was being brought to the subject in a huge way for one of the first times.

So we decided that one of our mandates for Breaking Free Foundation, was to create a safe online space for people to share their stories, and connect with other survivors or advocates in the trauma community. Our blog has become a storybook for people to break free from trauma, and create much-needed awareness on the subject.

But we know about the huge problem of trauma, it's effect on mental health, and research has shown that talk therapy is a huge healing resource for victims. Problem is, many people cannot afford therapy, or they are finding it at an affordable rate with someone who isn't experienced in trauma. So BFF is doing something innovative for trauma care: making trauma healing more accessible for everyone. We are doing this through our Therapy Grant Program, which allows approved candidates to receive designated therapy services, paid for via our foundation.

How this works is simple, we match approved candidates with one of our approved and screened trauma therapists. Our model differs from other free counselling services, because we pay the trauma therapist their regular fee, so we can ensure that we are providing our clients with the best possible quality of therapy. We also only work with therapists who are trauma trained and specialize in this type of work. We look for specific designations and certifications and screen all of our therapists thoroughly.

We want to pave the road for trauma healing and create valuable conversations about mental health, trauma and abuse. Removing the stigma, starting the healing, one day at a time.

To donate to the Breaking Free Foundation, click here