BROTHER SHAWN PROJECT SPRING 2022THE COOPERATIVE OPPORTUNITY PROJECT
BROHTER SHAWN PROJECT 2022
Brother Shawn initiative was created in June of 2020, in honor and memory of Marine Shawn Gibbons. Shawn sought a life of civil service as a way to evade the pitfalls of his community. His desire to be an exemplar of his community drove him to pursue a military career. Shawn served 4 years in the Marines and earned the rank of (rank). He did 3 tours in Iraq during Desert Storm. The military provided a pathway to escape pitfalls of low income communities. Unfortunately he was unable to escape the mental strain many active duty veterans suffer from once they’ve returned home. Shaw was diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress. His maladjustment had an adverse effect on family, friends, and loved ones who witnessed his downward spiral. He was no longer the same Shawn that left to serve his country.
A study conducted by the National Institute of Health in September of 2009 found, out of 289, 328 Afghan and Iraq Veterans, 36.9 percent were diagnosed with mental disorders directly related to active duty. Twenty one percent were diagnosed with PTSD and 17 % diagnosed with depression. Studies are also being conducted to explore the long term effects of chemical warfare agents on its victims. Veteran support services are essential to a healthy and productive transition back into society.
Over 200,000 service members transition out of the military each year. There are government provided support systems for returning Veterans. Unfortunately, more are needed particularly among minority communities that may refuse such services due to stigma. The Cooperative Opportunity Project goal is to provide virtual support groups to Veteran’s in a confidential group setting. We seek to provide an opportunity for veterans to form relationships with their peers through this virtual setting. These groups will be guided by a trained licensed mental health therapist for additional support.
We will cultivate a safe virtual environment for veterans to congregate and support each other. Discussion topics can include: personal experiences, coping with PTSD, how to transition back into society, and what resources are needed to help reintegration back into society.
Our goal is to improve the readjustment phase, simply by providing an open forum. Targeted age groups are within the age range of 35-50. Group sizes will remain reasonable, to ensure that every Veteran’s voice is heard. We do this in remembrance of Brother Shawn Gibbons.
- Create online counseling sessions for veterans in underserved communities.
- Facilitate Weekly forums lead by licensed professionals
- Generate financial support as well as community resources through fundraisers such as bicycle races and other functions.
- Network with established veteran support groups and shelters within the DMV area.
- Structure a online community of different professionals to support these efforts
- Utilize community veteran programs to facilitate enrollment
Our program seeks to target veterans who are reluctant to seek help and support. Strategically we will make services cost effective, private and easily accessible through virtual programming. Our initial phase of therapy provision will consist of a minimum of 4 licensed counselors. Director of this program will be Hasani Edwards LMSW. We seek to assist active duty veterans transition back into society. Our goal is for them to become productive, mentally healthy members of society.
iIf you would like to fund this project make a donation here or on our donation page thank you.