February 7th, 2015
The statistics regarding the impact of war on our service members, their families and society as a whole are startling. Despite support in the form of military treatment and rehabilitation, government assistance, non-profit advocacy and services, established healing protocols, and caring families and communities, returning veterans are frequently still in crisis or continue to deal ineffectively with issues tied to anger, anxiety, addiction, isolation, stress, panic, family relationships, parenting, sleep, sexual trauma, employment, homelessness and more. Clearly, this is the group in our society that is most urgently in need of help.
We have the opportunity to pioneer a new era in veteran self-care, recovery and resilience, and create a legacy of transformation by providing our war veterans with a wide range of evidence-based practices founded on self-awareness and mutual support.
Veterans in Mind, a core initiative of the Mindful Nation Foundation, launched its first program for veterans in Wichita in October 2014. This program has been extremely successful and is continuing to gain support and momentum, helping hundreds of service men and women in the greater Wichita area. Our goal is to create a platform that provides our war veterans with a wide range of evidence-based self-care practices for building personal resilience. This in turn helps them make supportive choices that lead to optimal well-being and ultimately aids them in leading fulfilling lives. Through offering veterans training scholarships in evidence-based wellness programs and healing modalities generally not covered under the VA benefits standard of care, Mindful Nation Foundation supports the broader community in both acknowledging the sacrifices made and in moving the country forward toward a more enriched, peaceful society. We also envision transforming the VFWs from their current state to Veteran Family Wellness centers and creating the space for these ambassadors to connect and help other veterans facing similar challenges.
Every American service member receives elite training to become a vital member of our military. Qualities and characteristics such as professionalism, respect, duty, loyalty, integrity, selfless service and courage are instilled throughout training and active service. Through our program we seek to nurture those qualities in our veterans for the benefit of all and leverage them as part of our “pay it forward” participation model. The program consists of three phases:
- Personal resiliency training – a small group program to train veterans in mind-body techniques
- Community transformation practicum – a train-the-trainer program to enable veterans to take the practices to their military brothers and sisters
- Mentorship program – ongoing remote guidance and support to help solidify practicum training and provide ongoing support for the trainers.
While we are doing so much with so little, it does take the support of key partners and visionary donors in communities across the country to help scale this movement and truly realize a Mindful Nation. Please commit to supporting our programs today with your financial contribution and your energy – and be the spark that transforms our nation.