Valor Recovery Program
Our mission is to provide compassionate and competent care for those who make endless sacrifices for themselves, others and the world.
Our Valor Recovery Program staff connect with patients instantly because they speak the same language and have had similar deployment and public service experiences. The majority of the treatment team served in the military or as a first responder prior to joining Valor.
The Valor Recovery Program helps patients process trauma. You’ll learn to control unhealthy behaviors while maintaining sobriety.
The self-sacrifice to keep others safe involves witnessing and experiencing events that are difficult to process.
Valor is a safe, judgement free place for individuals who struggle to face these fears. Our patients get better and we have a low two-percent recidivism rate. The Valor team has helped more than 500 veterans and first responders regain their lives.
Dual Treatment Tracks
We work with military bases, fire departments and law enforcement agencies to heal their members. Military behavioral health clinics and peer support groups send us their patients for trauma, substance use or military sexual assault treatment.
Our 28-day inpatient treatment modalities include:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Seeking Safety Curriculum
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy
- Individual and Group therapy
- Evidence based curriculum that includes best practices per the Department of Defense
- Separate, private unit for patients
- Daily opportunities for physical training in modern workout facility: Zone 6 Fitness
- Outdoor area with smoking allowed
- Visitation by Command available 24/7
- Military formulated medication management
- Daily visits with staff psychiatrist
- Electronic devices such as tablets, phones and laptops are permitted
- Partial hospitalization (PHP) offered
- Daily/Weekly communication with Behavioral Health staff at service member’s station of duty
- Equine therapy
- Canine therapy
The majority of our treatment team served in the military or as a first responder prior to becoming trauma therapists. We speak your language and have seen the atrocities you've seen.
David R. Strother, LSCSW/LCSW
Director of Military Services
David Strother is an expert in treating trauma, PTSD, sexual assault and substance use in military members and first responders. As a Marine Corps veteran and former firefighter, David has an immediate rapport with Valor patients.
Of the more than 500 patients David and his Valor treatment team have worked with, 98% have graduated from Valor feeling whole again because they have learned to pack away their traumatic past.
David has led a military and first-responder focused treatment program for five years, first at Research Psychiatric Center's STAR program and now at the Valor Recovery Program at Signature Psychiatric Hospital. He received his Master’s Social Welfare from University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS in 2013.
Kimberly Barlow, LMSW
Kim serves as the second in command of the Valor Recovery Program. Her active duty service in the U.S. Army at First Bliss exposed her to a variety of cultures and ethnic groups. This taught Kim to appreciate the small things in life and understand the struggles of those who serve and sacrifice. Kim earned her master's in social work at New Mexico State University and is pursuing her Ph.D. in social work at Walden University.
Eric Hansen, LMAC, RADC-P, MDiv
As the chemical dependency therapist for Valor, Eric plays a pivotal role in assisting many patients who struggle with a dual diagnosis, such as trauma and addiction. Prior to joining the Valor treatment team, Eric worked in behavioral health and detox of Shawnee Mission Medical Center and at Johnson County Mental Health Adult Detox Unit.
Eric also worked for Hal Nichols Associates as an addiction therapist in an outpatient setting. Before that he was the Program Director at All Nations Center in Central Washington State on the Yakama Indian Reservation. In his role there, he helped local residents access needed resources and supported sober living through his membership of the White Swan Community Coalition. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Andrews University, is a licensed addiction counselor and is completing his masters in social work at Park University.
Frequently Asked Questions
From What to Bring to How to Get the Most from the Program
Q. Where is the Valor Recovery Program located?
A. The Valor Recovery Program is located inside Signature Psychiatric Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Signature Psychiatric is a leading provider of behavioral health services and the Valor Recovery program is one of its signature services. Though Signature Psychiatric Hospital is a 72-bed mental health provider, only 12 of these beds are dedicated to military members and first responders. Valor Recovery Program patients reside in a completely separate area of the hospital for their treatment, meals, relaxation, exercise regime and periods of rest.
The Valor Recovery Unit has a military member and first-responder culture, staff and atmosphere. In addition, Valor patients abide by different criteria and safety rules than those patients on Signature’s civilian unit.
Q. What should I bring with me?
A. You will need a few changes of comfortable clothes, workout clothes and personal grooming items. For the safety of all patients, glass bottles and other potentially dangerous items will be used under direct supervision. Certain clothing items (boots, belts, drawstrings shoe laces, jewelry) may be considered potentially dangerous and kept away from the patient area.
To make our patients lives more comfortable the following controlled contraband is allowed on the Valor unit. Also, controlled items can only be accessed by Program status, which are patients that have reported no Suicidal, Homicidal, plan or intent and who are considered not a threat to themselves or others. Controlled items are checked in and out using a controlled contraband log and specific instructions follow each item.
Controlled items are checked in and out using a controlled contraband log and specific instructions follow each item.
Controlled Contraband on the Valor Unit.
- Shoe strings, pant or hoodie strings, belts –turned in when not in use.
- Personal music player with headphones (e.g. MP3 player, I-Pod, I-Pad)
- Headphones must be turned in when not in use.
- Personal Laptop with charger
- Charger must be kept at the nurses’ station at all times
- Personal cell Phone with charger
- Charger must be kept at the nurses’ station at all times.
- Phone cameras are not to be used to take pictures under any circumstances.
- Cell phones are not allowed off the Valor unit (e.g. gym, cafeteria).
- Shaving supplies - turned in after every use.
- Shoe strings, pant or hoodie strings, belts –turned in when not in use.
Contraband not allowed on the Valor Unit.
- Metal objects: Cans, wire hangers, wire brushes, metal combs, bobby pins, metal hair barrettes, tweezers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, sewing kits, knives, needles, nail files, crochet hooks, picture frames, etc.
- Aerosol spray containers
- Jewelry: We encourage limiting the jewelry worn on the unit.
- Anything with spikes or studs
- Weapons and incendiary items: Firearms, ammunition, fireworks, butane fuel items, matches, any explosive material, etc.
- Any glass item: Mirrors, compacts, containers, etc.
- Plastic bags, cellophane, scotch tape, duct tape, or like items, etc.
- Glues, bonding agents, white out, or like items, etc.
- Clothing with alcohol or drug themes, offensive language or images, political themes
- Large amounts of cash
Q. Can my family visit me during my treatment?
A. Your family is a big part of your support system and will be included in your treatment. Families are allowed to visit the unit weekdays between 4:30 and 7 p.m. and weekends from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Visitors should check in at the front desk to receive a visitor’s tag prior to going into the Valor Recovery unit. Visitors will be asked to leave their personal belongings in their car on a locker in the waiting area.
Q. How will I pay for my treatment in the Valor Recovery Program?
A. Your veteran or first responder benefits typically pay for your treatment in the Valor Recovery Program. We accept most insurance plans including Tricare, Tricare West, Blue Cross Blue Shield, New Directions. We also work closely with first responder unions and governmental agencies that are self insured.
Because the insurance piece is often complicated, Clinical Supervisor Kimberly Barlow explains payment for the program this video.
Q. Where will I sleep?
A. Rooms are semi-private so you can plan on having a roommate while in the Valor Recovery Program.
Q. What will my day look like?
A. Your day will be very busy. We have designed a therapeutic schedule that will provide you with group therapy, activity therapy, individual therapy, equine therapy and art therapy. By participating in each of these sessions, you will receive the maximum benefit from your treatment. In addition to daily group therapies, you’ll meet twice weekly one-one-one with your assigned therapist and daily with Valor’s nurse or rounding psychiatrist for medical management.
3 to 7 Day Medical Detox
To get the full benefit of the Valor program, a patient must be clean and sober. If a medical detox is needed first, it will happen on our acute unit prior to admission into Valor. During this critical stage, clients work through withdrawal symptoms in a safe, supervised environment.
28-Day Sub Acute
The 28-day program is the minimum time needed to take patients through the process to unpack and process their trauma -- some of which has been carried in silence for decades. Patients begin the program by submitting a summary statement of their life. They are assigned a primary therapist, which they see one-one-one three times a week. In addition, they are seen daily by a licensed psychiatrist for medication management.
The program also consists of cognitive and exposure therapy; group and dialectical behavior therapy; mindfulness and fitness training; and art and equine therapy. Patients are also provided spiritual guidance, upon request from a staff member with a masters in divinity, and pet therapy by Dixie the therapy dog.
Because of the open milieu, patients receive tremendous support from their peers. Relapse prevention is a pivotal component of the last five days of the program.
Before graduating to outpatient treatment, patients are required to read an impact statement to the group. This statement is a testimonial of how for the patient has progressed during the intense, inpatient program.
During outpatient treatment, our therapist continue to embed healthy thoughts, habits and tools patients will use to live a fulfilled lives moving forward without the anger, grief, sleepless nights and the need for substances.