Each day, soldiers return home from combat often ill-equipped for the mental and emotional stress of life after combat. Suicide rates among veterans are upwards of 22 per day, and occurrence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among vets from Iraq and Afghanistan is between 11 and 20% according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mindfulness and integrative health programs may offer some relief for these veterans.
A couple of weeks ago I brought up the utility of mindfulness for athletes, and today I wanted to briefly highlight an article about how mindfulness and integrative health programs may soon be among mental health options for veterans in the U.S.
Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rich Nugent (R-Fla.) introduced The Veterans and Armed Forces’ Health Promotion Act of 2013 in November. Among the many programs it seeks to introduce for members of the armed services, the bill would offer a variety of wellness programs aimed at veterans including mindfulness, yoga therapy and healthy eating. While some of these programs are already in place, the bill would make them more widely available to all veterans.
Congressman Ryan, a practitioner and fervent advocate of mindfulness, explained to the Huffington Post that mindfulness is “helping the veterans, it’s low-cost, it’s low-tech, and there aren’t any side effects… If that doesn’t cross partisan lines, I don’t know what’s going to.”
Sounds reasonable to me!
Have a look at the full article here: Why This Congressman Is Fighting To Bring Mindfulness To Veterans
I'll keep an eye out and post an update on the bill's progress. At the moment, it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.