We are Mindful Veterans -- To learn about us -- and possibly join us -- see this brief video produced by the World Mindfulness Project called GIFT in early 2017:
WHAT IS THIS SITE?
Welcome to Mindful Veterans Connection, a web-based community sponsored by the Mindful Veterans of Delaware (MVD). This site is run by and for US Military Veterans and Active Duty personnel. This page tells you who we are and what we are hoping to do. Click forum tab to go to the main page of the forum to start reading. Members, please use log-in tab once on the forum page; it will be at web address: mindfulvetsdel.freeforums.net .
You can read this site without joining but need to register (and then use log-in from then on) to use downloads or post to any topics .
THIS IS OUR STORY:
In 2015 we started this site specifically for those who have graduated from the Wilmington VA's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as created and run by Dr. Jenna Tedesco starting in 2009. Until recent changes by the Wilmington VA leadership, Dr Tedesco had bi-weekly (or more) sessions for graduates of all her MBSR and related Mindfulness groups at the Wilmington, Delaware VAMC.
When founding this website in 2015 we thought that having a place on the web to share info and communicate was a good idea so one of our members with experience in web communities set up this free board/forum.
Since starting this site we've grown and now have registered members around the USA and internationally -- including veterans from India, The Philippines and the United Kingdom; we also have unregistered visitors visit our site regularly from around the world as well.
VA mindfulness staff and researchers are also welcomed here. Mindfulvets.net is NOT an official VA site, but we have the support and input of Dr. Tedesco and other mindfulness experts.
Mindful Veterans Connection's purpose is two fold:
1. To provide mindfulness information resources relevant to veterans, and,
2. To grow a virtual veterans peer-support presence online as we grow this site.
Our members come to us with challenges from all sorts of conditions, to include Physical Disabilities,Depression, PTSD, Agent Orange Syndrome, Parkinsons, Chronic Pain, Anger Management etc. We all have found that the MBSR training -- and our on-going involvement in our graduate weekly groups -- have made major, often dramatic improvements in how we cope and live our lives. We often talk among ourselves about 'life before mindfulness v. life after mindfulness'. To a man -- and woman -- we all speak of how much mindfulness has changed our lives -- for the better. In some cases, even saving our lives.
In our weekly groups we do meditation together and have discussions of our mindfulness practices. Having others to do this with is extremely supportive of our individual efforts. To be able to have somewhere to turn to discuss mindfulness as it applies to our own lives is a wonderful thing. Our current small Delaware Vets group meets weekly for two hours and has evolved into a caring group. We do take care of each other, even outside of the group. Life-long friendships have been established as well. So, we felt that we'd like to share this "mindfulness thing" with more Vets in hopes of giving them the tools to deal with their challenges just as we have thankfully been helped with ours. It is our hope that in time this internet platform of the MVD can be of use to vets all over the country.
HANGING OUT A WELCOME SIGN:
Early in 2016 we decided to extend an open invitation to all veterans around the country and the world. If you are a military veteran interested in mindfulness as a tool for helping you cope with your military experience - including combat experience - we welcome you to visit and peruse our site. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Also, we are also looking for veteran graduates from a Mindfulness-based training program or therapy group to help us build this virtual community. (MBSR, MBCT, etc) Further, if you are a VA Staff Mindfulness Leader and are interested in joining our web group, we welcome you so please send a message to the administrator of this board by clicking HERE.
As more and more Vets take the MBSR and other mindfulness-based training as part of their holistic medical care and treatment at the VA, we think it will be good for them to have this site as a mindfulness information resource and as well to have the online support of fellow mindfulness practitioners as a virtual community of and for veterans.
The development and direction of this board will depend entirely on all who join us and what they contribute over time, built by veterans for veterans with the support of our wonderful VA mindfulness staff.
Those of us already in the MVD group know from personal experience the power of mindfulness practices to deal with our challenges because it's helping us now. We want to share this experience and insight with more vets, so hope that more of them will discover the great value of this research-backed approach to healing. We hope this web board can be a place for them to come and find kindred spirits, to help them build their mindfulness practices in their daily lives. We have recently added a page on Facebook to serve as a place to discuss and promote the themes of our website: It is located at facebook.com/mindfulvetsconnection .
This board is free, hosted by ProBoards(yes, there are some banner ads but they're not intrusive). The hosts (ProBoards) have a long list of things that are prohibited, or of expectations for behavior/speech while using this forum. The obvious ones are, NO: hate speech, pornography, threats of violence, etc. The link to the full page of community stardards of our host (ProBoards) is below, but in short form, this is what we ask of participants on this board:
1. Treat each other with respect and loving kindness in a spirit of non-judgmental mindfulness (This should be all the rule we need really).
2. Please, none of following: advertising or commercial information, obscenity, ideological, political or religious proselytizing or commentary.
3. This board is NEVER a substitute for professional care -- in crisis or emergency situations members should not post here, but call primary care,911 or the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, then push "1".You can always communicate with others on the board, but when you need immediate help this is not the place.
4. We want ours to be a mindful, caring and compassionate web space. Failure to honor the spirit of the board will lead to removal of content without warning and in some cases to offending member being banned. Of course we don't expect this to happen on a mindfulness board, but, alas, trolls abound and we need to forewarn them.
Once registered and on board, before you actually participate we ask you to please read and heed the ProBoards Community Guidelines here.
If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contribute to this site to help us cover our technical costs, please see our GoFundMe.com page HERE.