Mind-Body Wellness for Veterans
Christine’s passion for yoga and mind-body health began in Boston while she was working with female veterans suffering from PTSD and substance abuse at the Brockton VA. She earned her yoga teaching certification at Kripalu and integrated yoga into her practice, later bringing that passion to her work with veterans on the West Coast. Through yoga she taught veterans mindfulness, self-control and stress relief to help them improve their overall well-being. To reflect Christine’s dedication to veterans on both coasts, we have selected two initial programs to support through the foundation:
New England Vets – Smith Farm in Easton’s Borderland State Park
Smith Farm, in Christine’s hometown and favorite park, focuses on providing holistic trauma recovery to veterans with PTSD. At this innovative center that encourages creativity and mindfulness, veterans will be able to engage in yoga, tai chi, reiki, meditation, horticultural therapy and art therapy, among other activities, receiving what experts hope will be best-in-class therapy in a serene, beautiful setting. Outdoor programs have already begun, but the organization is raising money to finish renovation work on an old farmhouse on the property. This will provide a peaceful indoor setting for wellness classes, retreats and events for veterans, first responders and their families. As part of its programming, Smith Farm has an integrated wellness partnership with the Brockton VA, where Christine first combined yoga and therapy – yet another reason this organization is fits so well with the foundation in her name.
California Vets – Martinez Post-Deployment Assessment Treatment Program
The Martinez Post-Deployment Assessment Treatment Program, modeled like The Pathway Home, met with Christine and team just weeks before her death to plan a partnership. Since then, this partnership has taken hold, and several of Pathway Home’s graduates have gone to the Martinez PDAT Program, including one who is interning there now on his path to becoming a psychologist treating veterans with PTSD. This partnership ensures that veterans will have an effective residential treatment program in the area. Funds will help the program build connections and partnerships between the VA’s and community groups, Rotary Clubs, foundations and the business and education community. These relationships are vital to the community reintegration, education and career development of vets that Christine dedicated her life to, and that are essential to helping veterans with PTSD recalibrate to, and rejoin, civilian life.