Coloring Books Give Wounded Veterans Therapeutic Benefits
WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Adult coloring books are appearing on bestseller lists as the coloring trend spreads nationwide. The one-time solo past time is becoming a social activity, and recently a group of injured service members discovered the therapeutic advantages of color pencil to paper.
Organized by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) as part of the Alumni program, events like this create support through shared experiences. Many service members face similar challenges adjusting to their injuries and civilian life; by bonding at events, these wounded veterans learn they are not alone.
The health benefits of coloring go beyond relaxation by alleviating stress and anxiety. Studies indicate coloring exercises fine motor skills and trains the brain to focus. It has also been therapeutic for those who live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Army veteran and WWP Alumnus Lorrie Briscoe said, "This was my first experience with adult coloring and it took me back to childhood with no worries in the world. It was calm and peaceful, aside from deciding what color to use on what part of the picture."
"After many years of having to accept things I cannot do anymore, I find WWP events amazing. They allow me to get out and try new things that not only I can do, but also enjoy," said Marshall Stipes, Marine veteran and WWP Alumnus.
The group took some time to get to know one another when lunch was brought in; everyone gathered on cushy benches in the sitting area.
"We started talking as if we all knew one another," Lorrie said. "I haven't experienced that since being on active duty. There was a sense of trust and camaraderie." She attributes part of the calm to the peaceful atmosphere, comfortable surroundings, and sounds of the ocean music playing in the background.
"I enjoyed going around the room to share our coloring project and talk a little about it. Like why we chose the book, the picture, and how we felt while coloring. I think we all learned something about ourselves!"
Each participant went home with a color pencil set and adult coloring book from Angie Grace's Extreme Stress Mender Series. Marshall shared his illustrations and experience with his daughter when he returned home. "She was very excited to see what I brought home. I finished a page the next morning while she colored in her own books. She was super excited to see daddy coloring too. As always, I had a wonderful time during the activity provided by Wounded Warrior Project and look forward to the next time."
The Alumni program is one of 20 free programs and services WWP offers wounded veterans, caregivers, and families. Most recently, WWP launched Warrior Care Network™, a $100 million investment to battle the invisible wounds of war and reach those who might otherwise go untreated. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between WWP and four national academic medical centers of excellence including Emory Healthcare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and UCLA Health to connect thousands of injured warriors with world-class care.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's 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