Knoxville, TN, December 24, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Coming Home. For the soldier returning from combat, it can mean coping with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other health issues associated with war. For Claudio Barrientos, director of The Mindful Center Knoxville, “coming home” means something different—it means being present, aware and accepting of all life's experiences.
To assist Tennessee’s combat veterans, Barrientos is launching a crowdfunding campaign in support of Coming Home: An 8 Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program. His aim is to improve and complement the quality of care these veterans are receiving, so they might experience “coming home” in a new way.
“We have to ask ourselves: What if every veteran in Tennessee dealing with PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain or any other condition could learn the skill of cultivating awareness about the mind and body? What if we could train the mind to be calmer, still, balanced, resilient and friendly towards itself?” Barrientos said. “It’s what this eight-week MBSR program is all about.”
The statistics can be staggering. The US Department of Veteran Affair (VA) estimates one in five returning American veterans is diagnosed with PTSD. According to the VA, every 80 minutes a veteran dies from suicide. As of September 2014, there are some 500,000 veterans in the state of Tennessee alone.
“Coming Home is about sharing the practice of mindfulness meditation with the veteran community in Tennessee, and doing so within a clinically validated teaching model,” Barrientos said. “Stress reduction offers a great entry point for veterans seeking to understand more clearly how they create and amplify their stress through unfamiliar, unskillful and negative habits of the mind.”
MBSR was founded in 1979 by Dr. Jon-Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Since then, Barrientos said, it has been incorporated into more than 750 medical centers worldwide, including VA hospitals in Arizona, Washington and New Mexico. Barrientos said he is pleased to introduce the program to veterans in Tennessee.
“This program is not an exploration for the causes of war and combat, instead it’s an exploration of the experience of war and combat on a veteran’s body and mind,” he said.
Funds raised through the online campaign will provide for course books, guided meditation CDs, yoga mats and basic supplies, and an all-day retreat.
“This crowdfunding project is pretty straightforward. The cost of the program is $240. We’re raising $95 for each veteran or family member through the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo. The Mindful Center Knoxville will be matching another $95 in kind,” Barrientos said. “We will then charge $50 for each veteran or family member to attend the program. The reason for charging $50 is because we’ve found that attendance and retention increases when a student has some money invested in the program.”
The Mindful Center Knoxville will offer the program to 22 veterans, four times a year. Barrientos hopes to start a non-profit organization in Knoxville to help sustain the program long-term.
For more information about the campaign or to contribute, go to http://igg.me/at/veteranscominghome. The campaign will close February 19, 2015. For more information about The Mindful Center Knoxville and its other programs, contact Barrientos at 865.219.3210 or themindfulcenterknoxville.com.