FORT COLLINS, Colo., June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New Start for Student Veterans Program at Colorado State University (CSU) has received a grant from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to improve the sleep of this generation of wounded veterans with service-related injuries. The Restoring Effective Sleep Tranquility (REST) project is a seven-week sleep improvement program that aims to enhance sleep-related knowledge and skills to improve sleep quality, sleep quantity, and the mental health of veterans seeking college degrees. The REST project will also create RESTWEB, a web-based portal to access sleep improvement resources. WWP's Grant Program, now in its fourth year, is expanding the availability of programs and services that provide support to this generation of injured service members.
The REST project's sleep intervention will include evidence-based strategies shown to improve sleep quality and duration, and will involve a multi-disciplinary team from CSU's Department of Occupational Therapy led by Dr. Aaron Eakman, including the Center for Community Partnerships, the Assistive Technology and Resource Center, CSU's Department of Psychology and Mindfulness Institute, and University of Colorado Health. Sleep difficulties are highly prevalent in military veterans, especially those who have experienced service-related trauma and injuries. Insufficient sleep contributes to poor mental health and can negatively impact all areas of day-to-day life, including veterans' prospects for success in college.
"We are pleased and honored to receive funding from Wounded Warrior Project for this important work," states Cathy Schelly, Director of the Center for Community Partnerships and the New Start Program. "We recognize that sleep difficulties are a common and troubling issue with military veterans, especially for those who have sustained serious injuries while in military service. We look forward to addressing sleep challenges through the REST project and helping to enhance sleep quality and duration in injured veterans, ultimately contributing to the knowledge base regarding sleep problems in military men and women."
The New Start for Student Veterans program offers specialized support and education services for this generation of veterans with service-related injuries, helping them achieve success in college and ultimately in the career areas of their choice. New Start for Student Veterans is part of the Center for Community Partnerships – the CSU Department of Occupational Therapy's service and outreach unit which focuses on increasing access to employment, education, independent living, recreation, and community engagement for youth and adults with disability-related challenges.
"Working together with these excellent organizations, we are expanding and strengthening the network of support we can provide to our warriors, free of charge," said Steve Nardizzi, chief executive officer at WWP. "Side by side with WWP, our grant recipients are creating and deploying critically needed, specialized programs and services across the country, ensuring that no warrior falls through the cracks."
WWP focuses on providing grants to organizations that operate in underserved areas or provide services outside the scope of WWP's 20 free programs and services. Colorado State University's New Start for Student Veterans program was selected as a grant recipient because it delivers services that address sleep issues, a funding priority that WWP selected based on direct feedback from injured veterans in WWP's Annual Alumni Survey. Since 2010, WWP has been using survey data to identify gaps in existing services and support. The results help WWP gauge the top issues that injured veterans, their families, and caregivers struggle with as they transition from military to civilian life.
It is estimated that over 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts; another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For more information on WWP's Grant Program and a description of the grant recipients, please visit 2015 WWP Grant Program.
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About Colorado State University - Department of Occupational Therapy
The Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) exists to optimize the ability of people to perform the activities that they need and want to do each day and thereby participate fully in society. U.S. News and World Report ranks CSU OT among the Top 10 occupational therapy programs in the nation; Colorado State University has recognized CSU OT as a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence for 12 consecutive years; and The Colorado Commission of Higher Education has designated CSU OT as a Program of Excellence. Visit ot.chhs.colostate.edu to learn more about CSU OT.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project