Our nation’s veterans are facing a health care crisis: more troops than ever before have returned home with the burden of post-traumatic stress. Estimates reflect that 800,000 of them will suffer from this challenging and often debilitating condition. They are living with life-threatening symptoms of mental illness: depression, frustration, sleeplessness, nightmares and flashbacks and feelings of isolation. Many are unable to work and are filled with anger and despair. And veterans are not the only ones affected. Their families suffer with them, while health care providers serving vets are dealing with their own stress and trauma.
Since 2007, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine has trained over 800 clinicians and peer counselors who work with veterans and active duty military. The New York Times article, For Veterans, a Surge of New Treatments for Trauma, highlights CMBM’s work, saying, “The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s program…is the most comprehensive of all of them…and it is the one with the strongest evidence that it works to cure PTSD.”
In 2019, expanding on 10 years of partnership-building with Veterans Administration centers around the country, CMBM signed a contract with the Veterans Affairs (VA) Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8).
The VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) provides healthcare services to Veterans in Florida, South Georgia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Designed and implemented in partnership with the VA’s national Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation (OPCC-CT), the VISN 8 program is integrating CMBM’s curriculum with the VA’s existing Whole Health Coaching curriculum. Over the next 12-18 months, all 200 VA coaches will be required to complete CMBM’s two-part training program; implement at least two rounds of intensive MBSGs with weekly clinical supervision from CMBM; and complete CMBM’s full Certification Program, which includes writing several papers and passing a final assessment.
Once trained, the 200 coaches are expected by VISN 8 leadership to implement CMBM’s model as a core part of their ongoing jobs.
From A Fighting Chance, Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine, Feb. 2014:
When a vet is in his body for the first time, stuff comes up. It’s like when you’re frostbit. You don’t feel anything, but when you start coming out of it, it’s painful. They’ll talk about how much it hurts. It’s scary. But stay with it [the mind-body skills they learn], and what you start noticing is the veterans get back their fuel for life.
Joseph Graca, a clinical psychologist who has run mind-body skills groups at the VA
St. Cloud, MN
- 800 health professionals and veteran peer counselors who work with active duty, veterans, and/or their families, have been trained in mind-body medicine
- Graduates come from 37 states
- Over 30 Veterans Administration Health Centers, clinics, military bases and institutions are currently implementing our model.
- The demand for CMBM’s simple, effective, non-stigmatizing approach is growing.