Help us help veterans with CRPTSD nationwideA program for veterans, developed by a veteran
The mission of Keganin No Senshi Aikido (KNSA) is to enable veterans with Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to become more vital, constructive, integrated members of the community. KNSA provides kinesthetic therapeutic activities specifically designed for victims of combat. The program is based on the art of Aikido as taught at two Veterans Administration facilities and extensive research conducted for the book, Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Holistic Approach, by KNSA founder, sensei, and veteran himself, Tom Osborn (check out Tom's blog). It is intended to be offered as an adjunct to, and in collaboration with, ongoing counseling programs. The KNSA training program provides initial training and the first level of certification in the KNSA approach and demonstrates how to establish and maintain a successful Aikido program for combat veterans.
The 12-month program includes:
- the continuation of our local programs
- six intensive weekend seminars in various locations across the country with the goal of enabling programs to be started, and successfully operated, by organizations at the local level in as many areas as possible
- providing ongoing support, resources and training to these programs
We know that many of you are already aware of the need for more and better therapeutic methods to help veterans who are living with Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CRPTSD). We believe that the Keganin No Senshi Aikido method is a powerful tool to help these veterans find balance in themselves, their lives, and their relationships. We are trying to reach more veterans by reaching more of you, Aikido practitioners, allied health professionals, therapists, veterans services organizations and others interested in helping veterans bring the unique values of Aikido to their everyday lives and situations.
- there is great and growing need for what we are doing
- over 40% of women and 20% of men returning from Mideast combat are suffering from PTSD
- the current suicide rate of veterans may be as high as 22 per day – Suicide Data Report, 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs
- that 80% of Viet Nam vets have symptoms of PTSD
We need your helpIn early 2014 we're launching a campaign to raise $54,000 - half the annual budget for the Keganin No Senshi Aikido (KNSA) national pilot program. Our goal is to bring Aikido---the healing art of peace---to veterans throughout the United States who are suffering from Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To reach them, we need you, Aikido practitioners as well as supporters of our wounded warriors, who can help us extend the reach of our program by starting Aikido programs for these veterans in your communities.How can you get involved?
- Make a monetary donation when the campaign launches in early 2014
- Share word of our cause with everyone you know who may support this work
- Follow the campaign on Indiegogo and share updates and posts through your social media networks
- Root for us! We can do this!
- Read below on other ways we're looking for help
Internship and research opportunitiesInternships: We need major help in organizing data and implementing KNSA’s social media communications. We have a large amount of data on dojos, vet organizations, therapists and other people who have expressed an interest in KNSA or who we would like to take an interest in KNSA, but, as Tom says, “It is scattered all over our computer and, while we think we know what we want to do with it, we have only the vaguest idea how to do it.” Responsibilities include social media management, research, database entry, communications and outreach support. This internship is a great opportunity for someone looking for marketing and communications experience to build their resume.
Qualitative and quantitative research analyst graduate students: We would also be very interested in working with a graduate student[s] interested in researching the effects of Aikido on people with PTSD. One of the reasons for resistance to getting recognition from the VA and other major sources of funding is the lack of objective data. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence and subjective reports supporting Aikido’s effectiveness, but hard evidence from well structured, scientific research is lacking.
Correction from November's newsletterNotes From Tom: First, a correction to something I wrote in the November newsletter concerning the Veterans Administration. The length of time vets are in the residential PTSD ward I taught in is now and has always been six weeks. I wrote that it used to be eight weeks.
Second, I generally tend to be critical of the Veterans Administration and consider it a ponderous, obstructionist bureaucracy, extremely resistant to change, slow to move even when change is inevitable, and primarily committed to ensuring its own placid existence. But I want to make it clear that there are some really excellent programs and great individuals who are truly committed to doing their absolute best to serve those who have served, while struggling themselves with the bureaucratic morass. Vets Services, the PTSD wards, the growing number of women’s programs, those struggling to reduce the over-reliance on medication, are but a few. If you would like to hear more from me on this topic, click here to read a recent blog post.
We will be sending more information about the Indiegogo campaign soon. We hope you will view it and be inspired to support KNSA. You will, of course, want to reap some of the premiums we will be offering, but mostly we hope you will join us in KNSA’s work to help our wounded warriors achieve the unified spirit they so deserve. All of us, together, can achieve what only a few of us can dream.
A joyous New Year from all of us at Keganin No Senshi Aikido. May you find many times of peaceful strength and vigorous calm throughout the year.