JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) surpassed another monumental goal when it extended the reach of its mental health services for post-9/11 combat warriors and their caregivers, exceeding the organization's bold fiscal year target of serving 2,500 – with less than 30 days still remaining in fiscal year 2016. Just last month, WWP announced setting an unprecedented record by securing more than $71 million in annualized monetary benefits for wounded service members in FY 2016 through their Benefits Service program – an annual high for the organization.
"We remain committed to this generation of wounded warriors," said Mike Linnington, WWP chief executive officer. "We are nearing the end of fiscal year 2016, and our strong finish will catapult us into our 2017 goals. Our focus is steady as we approach our next fiscal year: to connect those we serve with each other and to the programs and services that help in their recovery by empowering warriors, their families, and caregivers to live life on their own terms."
In an effort to address the growing mental health needs of warriors who are returning from war with invisible wounds, WWP created its Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP). Through the generous support of donors, CSRP offers veterans a range of specialized programs and services – each tailored to the veteran's specific needs – all free of charge. WWP and its supporters believe warriors already paid their dues on the battlefield, so warriors don't pay for any service they receive.
Exposure to traumatic combat and operational experiences affects service members and veterans spiritually, psychologically, biologically, and socially. Although challenging, WWP's mental health rehabilitative retreats provide safe, private environments for warriors to express themselves and share their combat experiences – with laughter and tears. At the end of the rehabilitative retreat, the warriors share lessons learned from the activities that impacted their personal struggles most and set achievable goals for their recoveries.
To date, it is estimated that 400,000 service members live with invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to a report released by Institute of Medicine in 2014, 47 percent of the veterans diagnosed with PTSD in 2013 after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan did not receive treatment.
"Seeking treatment is not as easy as it may seem," said Ryan Kules, WWP combat stress recovery director. "Many suffer in silence with mental health conditions, but by increasing both the awareness of the stigmas associated with these injuries and the reach of our mental health services, warriors will see firsthand that invisible injuries are not a life sentence, and they can be managed."
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The WWP purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project