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During initial research that ultimately compelled this founder to establish the nonprofit corporation, WarriorWorks (WW), information was collected on the mental health concerns of Veterans & their families. From the Army OneSource website: over 1 million Soldiers are returning to local communities, almost a half million will develop PTSD, & less than half who report symptoms get the care that they need. Children of Service members are 2.5 times more likely to develop psychological issues while 44% of military kids have moderate-to-severe emotional and/or behavioral problems. Additional statistics report that 18 Veterans take their own lives every day.
The founder noted that non-traditional strategies might be an important complement to current pharmacology & therapeutic modalities to heal our Veterans from traumatic combat experiences. Numerous scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals provide clear evidence that social support is a primary protective factor against the development of PTSD following a traumatic event. WarriorWorks wanted to know, is there a way to create a focused strategy at a community level that specifically addresses social support for Veterans, and what would this approach look like?
During the next phase of program development, WW explored the Austin community’s interest to interact with Veterans. After numerous meetings with local individuals & organizations, it became clear that Austin fully embraces connecting with Service members in diverse, creative & constructive ways. For example, we are collaborating with Habitat for Humanity to develop a program where Vets volunteer to build homes for fellow Veterans & their families. The Long Center, Austin Child Guidance Center, Austin Classical Guitar Society & Trauma-informed yoga instructors have all expressed great enthusiasm for WarriorWorks’ proposed “it takes a village” model of care.
Having gathered scientific evidence & community support, Veterans & mental health experts were consulted re the WarriorWorks website that will provide user-friendly access to the supportive Austin community. More thumbs up further validated this nonprofit. WarriorWorks' key underlying premise is based on the universal concept of reciprocity, where the gift of receiving is balanced by the gift of giving. Vets will not only receive services, but they may choose to give back. There will be a GIVE & a GET button accompanied by: Honorable Vets, what do you want or need right now? Your choice.