81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

ARTS & HEALTH IN THE MILITARY

Whereas, The United States Conference of Mayors is eternally grateful for the men and woman who have served to protect freedom around the world and who have put themselves in harmís way; and

Whereas, the arts and culture serve as a resource to assist returning veterans and their families as they recover from their physical or mental wounds and/or incorporate back into civilian life by providing arts in healing services and programs; and

Whereas, creative arts in healthcare includes the professional disciplines of art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, and poetry therapy, as well as artist-directed applications of visual, literary and performing arts, and design within a wide variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes; and

Whereas, the Arts & Health in the Military National Roundtable was convened by Americans for the Arts and the Global Alliance for Arts & Health, andheld at the Kennedy Center on November 15, 2012 where a group of military, government, private sector and nonprofit leaders gathered to discuss arts and health in the military; and

Whereas, in 2011, the National Summit on Arts in Healing for Warriors was held at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) marking the first time that various branches of the military collaborated with civilian agencies to discuss how engaging with the arts provide opportunities to meet the key health issues our military faces Ė from pre-deployment to deployment to homecoming; and

Whereas, funding for creative arts and arts therapy demonstration projects, services, and multi-site research within the Veterans Affairs Hospitals and on military bases will provide for increased access to affordable and outcome-based healthcare; and

Whereas, the development of training programs for artists and healthcare professionals to provide services to active, returning, and retired members of the military and their families will reduce barriers to the initiation of arts programming throughout the military; and

Whereas, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) and the Creative Arts Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which includes art therapy, music therapy, and a writing program for veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, is demonstrating the successful integration of arts therapies and creative arts in critical healthcare programming; and

Whereas, military treatment facilities in various parts of the country are currently employing the creative arts in therapy and treatment programs for recovering military veterans; and

Whereas, research outcomes for creative arts therapies programs include improved quality and effectiveness of care, enhanced psychosocial and physical health, decreased agitation, increased response to rehabilitation treatment, and improved caregiver coping skills; and

Whereas, increasing public and private sector funding for program development, implementation and evaluation will aid in the sustainability of programs that have proven effective,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and other key federal agencies and their private sector and nonprofit partners to adopt the recommendations included in the Arts & Health in the Military Blue Print for Action funded by the David Rockefeller Fund that addresses the inclusion of arts in wellness and building resilience; the concept of person-centered care, that one size does not fit all; timeline variations for wounded service members; and healing as a lifelong process that includes community reintegration andtransition into employment and/or educational opportunities, aging, and end of life; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to designate funding to Department of Defense, TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs for Demonstration Projects for veterans and active military, increasing access to cost-effective creative arts services in healthcare treatment and programming for all military service men and women, veterans, their families and caregivers, in communities across the country.

Projected Cost:Unknown


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013