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MFT Purchases Property for Vets Healing Centre in Cape Breton

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https://www.invernessoran.ca/top-story/585-retreat-veterans-ptsd

-by April MacDonald

Last month, The Oran learned that the group MFT, or Marijuana for Trauma, was looking into purchasing land around Egypt Falls in Inverness County.

The word was that there was the potential for a retreat for veterans and persons with combat PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

On May 13th the co-founder of MFT, Fabian Henry, who is originally from New Waterford, was in the area to hike with two other veterans.

One of those vets was Inverness’ own Carson MacIsaac, who served in Afghanistan.

Henry said that they had an absolute glorious day weather-wise.

“The positive energy there is truly incredible,” said Henry in an interview on Tuesday morning.

  “This is the first location for our MFT Retreat, here in Egypt Falls, Cape Breton,” said Henry.

“What a feeling at the base of this waterfall,” he added.

“It was amazing to be there and to walk the property,” said Henry.

When asked how much land was actually purchased, he said that it was approximately 5200 acres.

“We bought from the corner where you turn in all the way to the path,” explained Henry.

It has been a year of remarkable expansion for this grassroots group.

Their main goal is to help and be there for vets and to promote alternative therapies to treat disorders caused by post traumatic stress.

They are heavily based in research and education and remain steadfast in their push for access to medical marijuana for people with trauma, including combat PTSD.

“Plants not pills”, is one of their most popular and profound slogans.

He said that in the army, “you are bred to be an alcoholic or else you won’t fit in, and after that comes the pills”.

Now a retired sergeant and founder of MFT Inc., he said that when he was in the forces he was just so sick of being lied to.

“Cannabis was the enemy; that’s what we were told,” said Henry.

“There are so many better alternatives to alcohol and prescription drugs, if people are looking for help,” said Henry.

MFT offers healing therapies for other injuries and illnesses, support for families, referrals to physicians and countless holistic therapies that seem to be ever-expanding.

He said that MFT was incorporated in 2013 and on March 2nd of 2014 they opened up their first office on Restigouche Road in Oromocto, New Brunswick. Oromocto is the nearest town to the Gagetown military base.

The 5th Canadian Division Support Base (5 CDSB) Gagetown was officially opened in 1958 as a training facility. It has an 1100 square kilometre training area: 1500 km of roads, 900 km of tracks, 740 buildings and some 6000 military and civilian personnel at the main base and lodger units across New Brunswick and PEI. It is is the second largest military base in Canada and the largest military facility in Eastern Canada. 

Henry said that he formed the organization MFT after his own struggle to access appropriate medical care after his combat-related injury.

He began by knowing his own struggle, by seeing that there was a serious need, but even more so that there were dire consequences if vets with PTSD were left to suffer in silence

He began a mission to strip away the stereotypes and give a voice to the vets who are struggling.

He said they have strong peer supports and “check-ins” in an effort to try to help vets in their darkest hours.

Henry said that he himself battled depression and suicidal thoughts.

Over the past few years, more and more details have come to light regarding alarming suicide rates in the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Globe and Mail was able to obtain records through the Access to Information Act; they received 162 pages of e-mail communications showing that The Globe’s request was initially sent to 30 military and government e-mail addresses and was processed for nearly two months.

The Globe was able to identify other deaths through poring over more than a decade’s worth of military-related obituaries, and then confirming, in interviews with soldiers’ families and members of the military, that those deaths were in fact suicides.

At some point, a decision was made to keep the suicide tally secret.

In one Afghanistan mission, 158 Canadian soldiers died. But the losses did not end there. That Globe and Mail investigation revealed that at least 54 soldiers and vets killed themselves after they returned from war.

“First and foremost we want to reduce harm,” said Henry. 

  “On June 6th we’re opening up another location in Montreal; in August we’re opening one in Halifax and in September another one in Edmonton,” said Henry.

CEO Fabian Henry has a social media presence that can’t be ignored; he is featured in numerous news interviews, and is known to make himself accessible to anyone who wishes to reach out.

MFT was recently featured in High Times Magazine in a gripping article entitled "The Green Legion." (Look it up).

Lately, they have also received a glowing endorsement from The Trailer Park Boys.

“I want more people to know about alternatives to prescription drugs,” said Henry.

They aim to change the attitudes about medicinal marijuana, and they are making great strides.

“The stigma surrounding marijuana use, even medical marijuana use, is very real,” said Henry.

He said that fear of marijuana has been causing harm.

That stigma has been blocking access to medical relief for patients, even in places where medicinal marijuana has been legalized and regulated.

“The MFT multi-faceted therapeutic approach to healing and its focus on supporting access to medical marijuana as a very legitimate and effective medical intervention has played a tremendous role in overcoming that destructive stigma for people across Canada.

“Integrating marijuana therapy and cannabis therapy into a holistic and personalized healing plan is really working to save lives and to support healing right across the country,” said Henry.

He added that they have no time for people who don’t want to, or don’t care to learn about alternative therapies for vets.

“We have no time for the bullshit anymore, people are dying,” added Henry.

With their new MFT Retreat, the future is looking brighter all the time for veterans.

“Within a year we hope to have our first chalet on the land at Egypt Falls,” said Henry.

He said that nature can be the absolute best medicine for anyone suffering from any mental health issues.

“We made a strong connection at Egypt Falls,” explained Henry.

He added, in closing, that when they went on the trek on May 13th, they met a woman who was also hiking the Egypt Falls trail. She had said to them that she had heard that someone had bought the land and that they better not block access to the falls.

To that, Fabian Henry said, “That’s exactly why MFT bought the land.”

So that access never gets blocked from people who need the land, the water and the space for mental, physical and spiritual healing.

I know the story of Dean Evans and the Chimney Corner property, so this is spectacular news on more than one front for me.

Here's another one:

http://www.capebretonpost.com/news/local/chimney-corner-egypt-falls-purchased-for-veterans-aftercare-246487/
Former Marijuana for Trauma owner taking veteran aftercare into his own hands

PIPERS GLEN, N.S. — Fabian Henry’s passion for helping veterans is as strong as his frustration over how little there was for him when he was discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Now that passion is a driving force behind the New Waterford native’s new charity GAFF (Global Alliance Foundation Fund) and his desire to create aftercare for his fellow brothers and sisters in arms.


Fabian Henry smiles as he greets some horses on his Piper Glen property. Henry said his Veterans for Healing retreat on the property will use horses for animal therapy once operational in 2020.
Fabian Henry smiles as he greets some horses on his Piper Glen property. Henry said his Veterans for Healing retreat on the property will use horses for animal therapy once operational in 2020.
“No one is doing any of these things for us as the suicide rate still continues. There’s no followup or aftercare for vets upon release. No one is securing land for us … No one is doing anything,” the 39-year-old father of two said, standing on his property in Pipers Glen where Egypt Falls is located.

The aftercare program, Veterans for Healing, is the reason why Henry has been buying some of Cape Breton’s most coveted properties: 130 acres in Pipers Glen, 300 acres and the 2,000-foot beach at Chimney Corner and a 1.5 acre lot in Inverness overlooking the fifth hole of Cabot Links golf course.

Veterans for Healing aims to help soldiers transitioning from service to civilian life, particularly those suffering from mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress (PTSD.) It will be primarily funded by GAFF and money raised for the charity came from the sale of Marijuana for Trauma, a national medical marijuana education resource Henry founded in 2013.

The company sold for $3.6 million and 40 million shares in a new company called Canada House. The money was put in an escrow account and has grown to $18 million to be used solely for GAFF and Veterans for Healing.

“We agreed early on that MFT was to be donated to create a veteran charity like none the world has ever seen,” Henry said.

“(It will) ‘bridge the gap in care’ from the transition of being a high-level functioning soldier to a disabled veteran. It’s tough.”

Henry knows first-hand how tough it is and used his experience to create the holistic health-care model around Veterans for Healing. During his 12 years of service, Henry did six tours as a combat engineer and developed PTSD. Discharged in 2012, Henry was taking nine pills like clonazepam a day. Soon he realized the Canadian military wasn’t going to help him recover and he believes it contributed to his downward spiral from 2007-2012.

With Veterans for Healing, Henry is aiming to help people in the last phase of care needed to recover from trauma. According to the GAFF philosophy, this comes after people have found medicine to help with their symptoms and professional medical help.

Related:

• Veteran returns home for opening of new support centre

The property at Pipers Glen includes Egypt Falls and will be a holistic healing retreat aimed at veterans but open to anyone suffering from mental health issues, particularly PTSD. People who attend are given the opportunity to participate in different activities like horseback riding, gardening or yoga and meditation. Henry was able to buy the property for $220,000 and estimates costs to build cabins, bathrooms and a main gathering lodge between $1.2-$1.5 million. Henry said plans are to have it operational by 2020.

Henry has worked out a deal with Inverness County to keep access to Egypt Falls public. This lease agreement with the municipality includes building a staircase to the falls to protect the trees and make it safer for people going to see the falls.

Fabian Henry, founder of Marijuana for Trauma and Veterans for Healing, stands beside the small home he has purchased for his property in Pipers Glen, Inverness County. Plans are to move there with his partner, Juliane Nowe, in eight years after his children have graduated from high school in New Brunswick.
Fabian Henry, founder of Marijuana for Trauma and Veterans for Healing, stands beside the small home he has purchased for his property in Pipers Glen, Inverness County. Plans are to move there with his partner, Juliane Nowe, in eight years after his children have graduated from high school in New Brunswick.
Plans for Chimney Corner, which Henry bought for $4 million, is to keep it as is. At this point, there are no plans for new infrastructure and it will stay open to the public.

“We’re bringing back Dean Evans’ rules,” said Henry, who has family connections to Chimney Corner.

“If you’re not going to do family-oriented activities then you aren’t invited.”

Starting in 2020, the beach will be closed to the public one weekend a year for a Veterans for Healing music festival. This festival will feature a big-name headliner, like Chris Stapleton, and will be for veterans and their families.

“Veterans can relax, let their defensive posture go and connect with those who’ve been there and understand the struggles,” explained Henry.

The property in Inverness will be a restaurant with live entertainment and is being overseen by Coun. Jim Mustard who is also the CEO of Henry’s company, Breton CannaPharms. Open to the public, the restaurant will be free for veterans who have been approved to use Veterans for Healing services on the island.

All the services being offered through Veterans for Healing will be free for vets and available to others for a fee. Costs and how to apply to use these services will be determined at a later date.

“Trauma is trauma. Doesn’t matter how it happened, the symptoms are the same, the lifestyle is the same,” Henry said.

“We want you to leave here knowing there’s someone out there who loves you … That you don’t have to stay isolated in the basement.”

The project has already caught the eye of Allegiance Films who are featuring Henry and his veterans’ aftercare project in the upcoming documentary Prescribed. It is about Canadian veterans using cannabis as medicine instead of pharmaceutical drugs and is the sequel to Unprescribed, a film about U.S. veterans on prescription meds for PTSD. Filming starts the weekend of Nov. 9-11 when Henry will have his first Remembrance Day ceremony at Pipers Glen.

As far as Henry’s research has shown there is no other aftercare program like his in the world.

“Look out world, we are changing things,” he said.

Bio

Fabian Henry

Founder: Marijuana for Trauma (MFT)

Sold: 2013, $3.6 million

Founder: GAFF charity, Veterans for Healing

Money for GAFF: From sale of MFT

GAFF to start: Aftercare services for veterans

Where: Chimney Corner, Pipers Glen, Inverness

*Money for MFT sale put in trust for GAFF.

*Money now at $18 million.

nicole.sullivan@cbpost.com

This can't be bad news. I've visited both properties numerous times and they are stunning.
 
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