Art therapy helping veterans

Creative arts therapy plays increasing role in standard of care for patients in military settings

The National Endowment for the Arts expands its landmark arts partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to bring music therapy to patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center including patients at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) located on the campus of Walter Reed Bethesda. This new music therapy component of the NEA’s Operation Homecoming program reflects the growing use of creative arts therapy programs in healthcare settings. The NEA and Walter Reed have extended their commitment to partner on these efforts through 2015.

“The NEA is proud to join with the U.S. Department of Defense to significantly expand our mutual commitment to investigate how art works to help heal our wounded warriors who have sacrificed so much in service of our country,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The NEA is honored that this partnership will help design and test neurologic music therapy programs for our service men and women being treated at Walter Reed.”

The neurologic music therapy component at the NICoE joins the existing Operation Homecoming creative writing program for wounded warriors which launched in December 2011. Since then, more than 150 active duty military and their family members have taken part in writing workshops in both clinical and non-clinical settings, led by combat veteran and author Ron Capps, with programmatic support from The Writer’s Center. Both activities complement a visual arts therapy program for patients, and all of the creative art therapies are integrated with the NICoE’s unique array of alternative and conventional clinical treatments for patients.

Operation Homecoming is a partnership between the NEA and the Department of Defense, first created in 2004 to help U.S. troops and their families write about their wartime experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and stateside. It is one of several programs the NEA has created to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families.

For more details, visit the NEA website.

Via: National Endowment for the Arts

Mask photo courtesy of the NICoE Healing Arts Program



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