Paul was very committed during his time as a Marine. He achieved the rank of Sergeant in 3 years and 3 months, which would be considered quite a fast time to earn this rank in the military. Paul served one combat deployment to Iraq, where he earned combat decorations for Valor during combat operations. Once he returned state side from his deployment, he found that he was always angry and fighting people for little to no reason. He knew something was wrong. He attempted to find help through the naval doctors, which resulted in being designated as non-deployable status, simply because he sought mental health treatment. Paul decided that there had to be a better way for veteran’s mental health to be addressed. He noticed many of the people in his unit whom had deployed to Iraq were now self medicating. Their self medication included a combination of alcohol, drugs, anger and adrenaline. It was at this time that Paul decided he would pursue a career in drug and alcohol counseling to allow him to help veterans find effective and healthy ways to address their mental health, rather than utilizing substances to mask their emotions.
Upon his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, he attended the Chippewa Valley Technical College and received his Associates Degree in Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse (AODA). During his time achieving this degree, he completed an internship in a minimum security prison trying to help people with very diverse backgrounds find a new path. He then transferred to the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire to obtain his Bachelors Degree in Social Work. This degree taught him that through making enough noise, systems can change. During this time, Paul’s passion for Veterans Mental health was reinvigorated. As an undergraduate student, he conducted a independent research study looking into how to best help returning veterans experience reintegration in a smooth and effective manner. This was a great experience for Paul. He felt connected to the veterans and felt that this is what he needed to be doing. After graduation, Paul continued to work with both minimum and medium security prisoners. He often focused his work with individuals around anger management, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral modification and addictions treatment. He was then accepted to the University of Wisconsin Madison into the Masters of Clinical Social Work program, focusing on mental health. It was at this time that he developed greater counseling skills and focused much of his skill development specifically on helping treat those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
He found that the same struggles veterans may have are commonly shared by others in specific professions, greater than in the general population. These professions include first responders, law enforcement, emergency dispatchers and the department of correction, where employees may be routinely or repeatedly subjected to great amounts of trauma and carry the same stigma of seeking treatment. A stigma that simply isn’t true. Here at 22 A Day Counseling, we invite all people who have experienced trauma to come and see us (those who have served and those who have not). We take a different approach to how we treat and interact with patients, because Paul has lived in the unique culture and environments that have caused the trauma. You will never be judged here for what you did, what you saw, or what you didn’t do. Here you are welcomed and accepted for who you are. Whether you are just returning home, starting a new career or have lived this repeated exposure for twenty years things can, and will, get better.
Paul Roadt L.C.S.W., C.S.A.C.
22 A Day Counseling
2211 East Clairemont Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54701