March 26, 2024

Annual Report Details Groundbreaking Advancements in Mental Health Innovation, Peer + Clinician Training, First Responder Support, and More

ORLANDO, FL (March 27, 2024)UCF RESTORES – a leading nonprofit research center and treatment clinic focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related concerns – today unveiled its 2023 Annual Report, showcasing a year of remarkable achievements across the organization’s treatment, training, peer support, and critical incident response programs.

UCF RESTORES Executive Director Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP, emphasized the significance of the report’s findings:

“2023 was a year of breaking boundaries. We modernized key systems, expanded our first responder networks, and redefined what’s possible when it comes to intensive treatment for trauma survivors. We are incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made, and we look forward to continuing the advancements outlined in this report over the years to come.”

Highlights from the UCF RESTORES 2023 Annual Report include:

  • Breakthroughs in VR Trauma Treatment: A recent clinical trial demonstrated the potential of UCF RESTORES’ proprietary VR treatment tool to significantly reduce PTSD symptoms while also testing further condensation of the center’s hallmark Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). 100% of participants no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD after just 14 days of treatment.
  • Expanding Peer Support Networks: In the 2023 calendar year, UCF RESTORES launched Blueline RescueTM – designed specifically for law enforcement – while modernizing the firefighter-specific Redline RescueTM With Goldline RescueTM introduced for emergency dispatchers in early 2024, UCF RESTORES is proud to have developed the first and only peer support network of its kind for public safety first responders.
  • Empowering Professionals: UCF RESTORES remains committed to providing effective, proven training to others on the frontline of mental health battles. In 2023, the organization delivered its REACT peer support training to over 700 first responders from nearly 90 agencies across multiple states, while an all-new “Medical REACT” offering was introduced for healthcare essential workers. Additionally, UCF RESTORES’ Cultural Competency Training programs equipped over 210 clinicians with the knowledge and skills to provide culturally sensitive care to firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
  • Beyond the Clinic Walls: As an integral part of Florida’s State Emergency Response Plan (SERP), UCF RESTORES was actively deployed as a crucial component of the Hurricane Idalia Mental Wellness Incident Management Team, coordinating mental wellness services for affected counties. In 2023, the UCF RESTORES Critical Incident Response Team also hosted three debriefings for first responder agencies in Sanford, Titusville, and Cape Canaveral.

UCF RESTORES Director of Resilience and Prevention Clint Bowers, Ph.D., shared:

“I’ve witnessed UCF RESTORES’ growth since its inception, and to see many of our long-term efforts come to fruition in 2023 was truly humbling. We are well on our way to transforming trauma treatment on a broad scale.”

Amine Newins, Ph.D., UCF RESTORES Director of Continuing Education and Director of Center for Research and Education in Sexual Trauma, added:

“At UCF RESTORES, we understand that healing from trauma goes far beyond simply managing symptoms – our goal is to empower individuals to reclaim control of their lives and live productively. The achievements highlighted in the 2023 Annual Report speak to our shared commitment to this goal, and I’m grateful to each of our team members for their behind-the-scenes dedication.”

Beidel concluded: “Our impact simply would not be possible without the support of our private donors and that of the Florida State Legislature. We are deeply grateful for the continued partnership of our sponsors and for the support of our legislative champions, Florida Representative Col. (Ret.) David Smith and State Senator Tom Wright. Together, we’re ensuring effective delivery of no-cost mental health treatment services to those in need.”

Click here to explore the full 2023 Annual Report and learn more at

Impact by the Numbers: 2023 At-a-Glance

  • Treatment: UCF RESTORES clinicians provided life-saving treatment to more than 250 individuals through a total of 2,405 appointments.
  • Peer Support:
    • The 2023 modernization of saw 394,000 total site hits and a total of 216 peer support providers + 81 culturally competent clinicians.
    • The launch of Blueline Rescue in Q3 2023 garnered 73,000 total site hits before the year’s end, with 32 peer support providers + 37 culturally competent clinicians
  • Training:
    • UCF RESTORES hosted over 60 REACT peer support trainings for more than 700 first responders in 2023. The program has reached over 2,000 participants across 200 agencies to date. Survey feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and participants have reported using their peer support skills with an average of 26 peers per month and providing referrals for additional services to an average of 13 peers per month.
    • UCF RESTORES reached 60 healthcare professionals with Medical REACT since its launch in Aug. 2023.
    • The organization also delivered cultural competency training to over 210 clinicians and reached a 200-to-date clinician milestone via its Trauma Management Therapy Online Training program.



Established in 2011 with the mission to “restore lives, families, and communities,” UCF RESTORES is dedicated to changing the way PTSD is understood, diagnosed and treated for first responders, active-duty and retired military, survivors of mass shootings, sexual assault and natural disasters, and more. UCF RESTORES – which includes the National Center of Excellence for First Responder Behavioral Health – proudly serves as the leading mental wellness clinic and research center for first responders in Florida and across the U.S.

UCF RESTORES’ first-of-its-kind Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) leverages a multidisciplinary treatment approach, incorporating exposure therapy, group treatment and emerging technologies to reduce the distressing symptoms that often accompany a traumatic event. This evidence-based treatment approach has seen unprecedented success, with 66% of participants with combat-related PTSD and 76% of first responders no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for PTSD following treatment. In a recent, limited-subject clinical trial of UCF RESTORES’ proprietary Virtual Reality Treatment Tool – which also tested the effectiveness of further condensation of its IOP to just two weeks – 100% of participants no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD following participation.

UCF RESTORES offers proven training programs for peer support across the firefighter and law enforcement service groups – with plans to extend to other service populations in the future – as well as no-cost cultural competency training for licensed mental health clinicians through its Cultural Competency Training programs.

Additionally, the center’s Critical Incident Response Team is often called upon to mobilize and provide support to attending first responders following a critical incident, such as a mass shooting or natural disaster. Over the years, UCF RESTORES has provided onsite “Psychological First Aid” for events such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, and the Champlain Towers South building collapse in 2021.

For more information, visit, explore the organization’s 2023 Annual Report here, and follow UCF RESTORES on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.