Ars Bellum Foundation was formed in 2014 by a group of veterans, active duty servicemembers, and military family members. Our primary mission is to provide evidence-based art therapy programs to veterans and military family members dealing with PTSD and related mental health conditions due to service-related trauma, loss, and grief. We partnered with Adler Graduate School through a generous seed grant from Tee It Up for the Troops and, using art therapy research done at Walter Reed Medical Center as a basis, we developed our own group art therapy model. It is HIPAA compliant using evidence-based practices learned through trauma training for our art therapists, who are board-certified and licensed mental health professionals.
Ars Bellum Foundation's programs are unique. Our programs are mobile so we can reach underserved veterans closer to their communities rather than requiring them to travel to a central clinic. Ars Bellum developed a ground breaking program to help women veterans struggling with the aftermath of military sexual trauma. We expanded our services to include Gold Star families, military children, spouses and caregivers. We do not screen out veterans based on discharge status, prior diagnosis and treatment, or ability to pay. In fact, many of the veterans in our programs come to us at high risk of suicide. We are here for you.
A second part of our mission is to educate the public about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to dispel myths, and to let our veterans tell their stories in creative ways . Our Beyond the Battlefield art exhibition is a collection of works by veterans, some of whom are professional artists, and some who have gone through our art therapy programs. Throughout the exhibit, visitors have a chance to connect with the veteran's experiences and learn how and why art therapy works so well when traditional therapy methods fail them. We also do public awareness and fundraising events, like our annual SkyDive for Vets tandem skydive, cohosted with the Special Forces Association and sponsored by SuperAmerica and our annual Beyond the Battlefield Benefit.
The third part of our mission is to look to the future needs of our veterans and military families, and build the art therapy field so that we have enough qualified, credentialed professional art therapists to meet the needs of veterans and family members who benefit from this form of therapy. Working with our development partner, Adler Graduate School, we began working with graduate students to develop more art therapists with training in military trauma and culture. We are creating curriculum that can be used at the graduate or undergraduate level for students on psychology, counseling, or social work tracks. A longer term goal is to develop supplementary curriculum for high schools to use that will expose students to art therapy and let them know that it is a potential field of study for them to pursue as a career.