MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) subject matter experts will be presenting WWP's mental health support model at the 2016 Association for Experiential Education conference on Oct. 28. The workshop is set to provide information on how to structure and facilitate multi-day restorative experiences for post-9/11 injured veterans using experiential learning techniques coupled with teaching coping skills to increase resilience and psychological well-being.
The annual conference is expected to host more than 700 practitioners, teachers, therapists, facilitators, trainers, students, and administrators. It is aimed to inspire collaboration among individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives and connect professionals around the world who work with experiential education, which is a philosophy describing an educational process that combines direct experience with the learning environment.
To date, an estimated 400,000 service members live with invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, depression, and finally – the signature wounds of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Exposure to traumatic combat and operational experiences affects service members and veterans spiritually, psychologically, biologically, and socially.
To address the growing mental health needs of warriors returning from war, WWP created its mental health support model. Through the generous support of donors, WWP is able to offer veterans a range of specialized mental health programs and services – tailored to each veteran's specific needs – all free of charge.
For many injured veterans, WWP's multi-day mental health rehabilitative workshops are the first time they step out of their homes to engage with their communities.
These restorative mental health gatherings provide safe, private environments for warriors to express themselves and share their combat experiences. By the end, warriors share lessons learned from the activities that impacted their personal struggles most and set achievable goals for their recoveries.
WWP fuses mental health rehabilitation with a military adage: "Leave No Man Behind."
Peer support plays an important role in the recovery process for veterans dealing with the invisible wounds of war as they rely upon each other's learned experiences when managing day-to-day challenges. These warrior-centric, warrior-led group support systems reintroduce the unique bonds experienced during military service. Rarely duplicated in the civilian world, these relationships act as a secure bedrock that paves the road to recovery.
"Reconnecting warriors to each other in the civilian world is very important," said Mike Linnington, WWP chief executive officer. "The warrior support that played a critical role on the battlefield has the same function in their recoveries at home. In combat, soldiers rely upon each other for survival. It becomes an unyielding trust. When warriors stumble, fall, or become injured, it's the warrior marching next to them who will pick them up and carry them on their shoulder."
WWP will continue to reach across organizational boundaries to ensure warriors, their families, and caregivers are connected to healing programs and their communities; served by addressing needs related to mental and physical health, and career and benefits counseling; and empowered to live life on their own terms and help other warriors.
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.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project