Fast Fact – American Crisis
PTS among veterans is a serious crisis. 2 Professionals – $1.25 million per year
20 veterans commit suicide every day.
In 2014, veterans, representing 8.5% of the adult population, committed 18% of all suicide deaths. More than twice the normal suicide rate.
An equal number of active duty service members suffer trauma and PTS.
ABOUT FACE…Veterans Who Have Turned Their Lives Around
GIFT will create a national movement to treat veterans (plus active duty service members) suffering from trauma and PTS using proven models of mindfulness training.
In 2018, we will sponsor a major social media event to mobilize national support.
Within five to eight years, GIFT will impact 100,000 veterans service members suffering from trauma and PTS and restore their lives.
Delaware As The Model
In Wilmington, DE, GIFT discovered that the local Veterans Affairs Medical Center has one of America’s leading mindfulness training programs for veterans. Dr. Jennifer Tedesco, PTS psychologist, heads a pioneering team that began training veterans in mindfulness in 2009. They train 150 to 300 veterans per year in mindfulness – 1,500 to 3,000 since inception. PTS is a serious chronic disease. Often veterans suffer from multiple ailments including a variety of depression and diabetes from Agent Orange. PTS comes in streaks. Mindfulness helps the veterans self-regulate to control their emotional swings and to best manage the depths of depression. Mindfulness is a valuable and cost-effective tool.
In 2013, Dr. Tedesco began pulling together a national network of other leading professionals in the VA medical system that offer mindfulness training. GIFT is working with Dr. Tedesco and their national program, The Mindful VA, to create a significant action program to impact thousands of veterans. Initial partners are in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Memphis and Texas. The veterans themselves are creating a website, www.MindfulVets.net, to promote mindfulness as a valuable treatment opportunity, and to train veterans as mindful trainers to benefit the broader community.
Going Forward – Create A Simple Plan
STEP ONE – PROVEN MINDFUL PRACTITIONERS
Enlist partners with proven track records using mindfulness to treat veterans-service suffering from trauma and PTS. Identify success stories across America.
STEP TWO – NATIONAL PARTNERS
Enlist any like-minded organization with substantial members to join the movement. 50 to 180 organizations. Veterans. Service. Students. Schools. Senior Citizens. Other.
STEP THREE – MAINSTREAM GRASSROOTS SUPPORT
State by state, enlist local opinion makers and organizations.
STEP FOUR – ELECTED OFFICIALS
Begin educating the appropriate U.S. Senators, Governors and Leading Congresspersons. Invite their support.
STEP FIVE – COMMUNICATIONS – SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA
GIFT is working with LookTV, a developing new online network with the capacity to reach 90 to 100 million people. LookTV is committed to work with GIFT and our veterans-mindfulness initiative. GIFT is collecting powerful videos and will host an annual social media event starting in 2018.
STEP SIX – IMPACT 100,000 VETERANS – SERVICE MEMBERS
With the proper financial support, in five to eight years, treat 100,000 veterans-service suffering from PTS trauma.