VET Tv, the online video channel known for consistently pushing the envelope with its brand of dark and irreverent humor, has taken a break from the usual shenanigans and gotten serious with its new "Mental Health Hell and Wellness" video series.
VET Tv Founder Donny O'Malley, a retired Marine captain and wounded warrior, hosts the series and sits down with mental health professionals to explore the therapeutic power of dark humor while introducing the tools needed to undo the "brainwashing" experienced in the military.
You read that last sentence correctly. O'Malley is not a man who holds back or minces his words. His notion of "brainwashing" aims to break through the shells of veterans he wants to hear his message.
VET Tv is a subscription-only service, but O'Malley and company are making the series available to stream for free at their website. If you're already a subscriber, you can watch the show on demand in the VET Tv app.
Some folks just don't understand the dark humor that O'Malley's putting out there, and part of his aim here is to get mental health professionals to co-sign his approach.
He's put together an impressive roster for the discussion, including Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a New York Times best-selling author and Boston-based psychiatrist; Lauren Rich, a veteran and combat trauma specialist from Tulsa, Oklahoma; John-David del Castillo, a combat stress recovery specialist with the Wounded Warrior Project in Sacramento; Dr. Michael Terry, coordinator of the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of San Diego; Dr. Nancy Lin, a licensed clinical psychologist providing therapy for people suffering from insomnia, trauma and depression in San Diego; Dr. Holly Bechard, a psychiatric nurse practitioner from Solana Beach, California; and Dr. Abby Cobey, a trauma, depression and anxiety specialist from Alexandria, Virginia.
"There is tangible proof that healing from the trauma of war can be achieved through comedy," explained O'Malley. "I've known that for a long time. It's why I started VET Tv. But for all the critics out there, we're now offering proof from some of the top mental health professionals from around the country that there's so much that can be gained by something as simple as giving a dopamine shot to the brain by making someone laugh."
Let's be clear: VET Tv pulls no punches with its approach. The flag-waving, hands-over-heart patriotic crowd may be freaked out by O'Malley's unvarnished approach to the realities of some military experiences. You'll know pretty quickly whether VET Tv works for you.
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