GIG HARBOR, WA — Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise and his Foundation announce the launch of a cognitive health and mental wellness network providing transformative care to veterans and first responders experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and substance abuse: the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network builds on the work of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health and the Boulder Crest Foundation’s Warrior PATHH program, and will establish 20 treatment sites nationwide to serve thousands of veterans, first responders, and their families.
“When I formed the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, it was rooted in a personal mission to provide support, raise spirits and improve the mental wellness of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Gary Sinise, the Foundation’s Founder and Chairman. “Always wanting to do more, as the foundation approaches its 10th anniversary this June, I am proud to announce the launch of the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. This cognitive health and mental wellness network will further expand our services to veterans and first responders experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and substance abuse to help heal the invisible wounds afflicting too many of our veterans and first responders, transforming struggle into strength, and lifelong post-traumatic growth.”
Gary Sinise proudly joins together with the Co-founders of The Home Depot and renowned philanthropists Bernie Marcus and Arthur M. Blank, who each invested $20 million from their personal foundations to lay the groundwork for the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. Both are personally motivated to improve and expand upon the care provided to veterans and first responders, and the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network marks the first time that Bernie Marcus and Arthur M. Blank have partnered together since co-founding The Home Depot.
The Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation is a proud member of the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network facilitating Boulder Crest Foundation’s Warrior PATHH program to cultivate posttraumatic growth and provide intensive training that ensures veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress have the opportunity to lead great lives.
“What is about to happen for the Pacific Northwest and the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation but particularly for those who serve our country and community, is nothing short of incredible and humbling” says Leslie Mayne, Founder of the Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation.
Addressing an Epidemic of Invisible Wounds
The national network’s name stems from Arthurian legend: Avalon was the sanctuary where King Arthur was taken to heal physically and spiritually after being wounded in battle. In that spirit, the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network is designed to address and help heal the epidemic of “invisible wounds” that afflict too many of our nation’s veterans and first responders.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTS) affect nearly 1 out of every 3 military personnel deployed to war zones since 2001. An estimated 30% of our nation’s first responders also experience symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress. Though dubbed “invisible wounds,” the changes in psychological health that accompany these conditions have very visible manifestations, such as depression, anxiety, suicide, and substance abuse, impacting not just the veterans and first responders themselves, but their families as well. Unlike physical wounds, invisible wounds can be passed from one generation to the next. Tragically, these invisible wounds too often can lead to suicide.
The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network will expand on the Marcus Institute for Brain Health’s and Boulder Crest Foundation’s expertise and successes to create a nationwide, integrative traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress treatment and training network. By leveraging the science of posttraumatic growth — a framework that explains the positive transformation that can occur following trauma — the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network will empower veterans and first responders to cope with, and overcome trauma, and in doing so, transform lives.
Boulder Crest Foundation’s flagship Warrior PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) program consistently demonstrates significant and longitudinal reductions in symptoms, including: 56% reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms and a 50% sustained reduction in depression, and a 56% improvement in posttraumatic growth among veterans and first responder participants. Clinical results from the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, which provides specialty care for veterans with traumatic brain injuries, demonstrate a 95% improvement in quality of life and 88% sustained improvement in quality of life among participants after the program’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
ABOUT THE GARY SINISE FOUNDATION: The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, who has been an advocate of our nation’s defenders for forty years. The Foundation’s mission is to serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. Its programs—designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities—serve America’s heroes and their loved ones 365 days a year. Learn more: www.garysinisefoundation.org.
ABOUT THE PERMISSION TO START DREAMING FOUNDATION: The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation provides strength-based programs that have positive impact on the lives our veterans, first responders and their families. Trauma in modern conflict takes a toll, that if left untreated can have devastating effects. We stand with our military veterans and first responders, those who serve and protect our country and community, and we are committed to providing mental wellness programs that cultivate post traumatic growth (PTG). For now, the Warrior PATHH program in the Pacific Northwest is located on 100 beautiful acres in the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula. It is home for our Warrior PATHH until the foundation builds a sanctuary of its own. Camp Beausite NW, 510 Beausite Lake Road, Chimacum, WA 98325. For more information visit: ptsdfoundation.org.
ABOUT BOULDER CREST FOUNDATION: Boulder Crest Foundation is a veteran-led organization that uses the proven science of posttraumatic growth to heal, train, and advocate for combat veterans, first responders, and their families, who have experienced trauma. Boulder Crest Foundation develops, delivers, and is scaling transformative programs to ensure these remarkable men and women transform struggle into strength and lifelong growth, so they can live the great lives they deserve. For more information about Boulder Crest Foundation please visit bouldercrest.org.
– Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation