The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) has partnered with VA medical facilities around the country for the Creative Forces initiative. First organized in 2012, the program serves veterans at about a dozen bases and medical facilities such as Walter Reed Medical Center.
The national network of creative resources works to combat the epidemic of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Additionally, Using established clinics at facilities across the country, the NEA works to build the creative community in the military. Helping those affected by hidden illnesses, and creating communities within base environments…Creative Forces truly works to expand the capacity of the creatives.
According to the NEA, over 500,000 current veterans live in dealing with PTSD or TBI symptoms. It is estimated that about 10-20% of all deploying service members are likely to show symptoms of both. Unfortunately, many of these cases do go undiagnosed. That is why the work of organizations like the NEA are crucial to the military community. The goal of Creative Forces is beyond the clinical work itself, but to establish environments that creatives in the arts thrive. These environments culminate inspiration and outlets for those in clinical care…and those undiagnosed.
You can learn more about the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Creative Forces program at their website here.