Veteran suicide rates have increased 25 percent over the last decade, with veterans more than twice as likely as non-vets to take their own lives. Roland Van Deusen ’67, G’75, a former U.S. Navy petty officer and retired psychiatric social…
Institute for Veterans and Military Families Combines Forces to Find Ways to Heal Veterans, Military Families through the Arts
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) awarded a research contract from the Americans for the Arts as part of the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network initiative
Veteran transition from military to civilian life is a complex process with challenges on many fronts from employment to interpersonal relationships. Frequently, veterans require access to programs that address these many layers of need. One such treatment area found to be highly effective is art therapy.
“We are honored to be working with Americans for the Arts and the NEA to conduct this important research,” says Vice Chancellor and IVMF Executive Director Mike Haynie. “The study will assist with the design of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Forces Initiative, as it pertains to the needs of military and veteran family resilience.”
“To obtain this highly competitive contract speaks to the excellence of our programs,” says John Liu, Ph.D., vice president for research. “Syracuse University is a national leader in humanities and arts research, and this award is evidence of scholarship built upon that foundation of academic rigor, in addition to the significant social and economic impact of IVMF initiatives across the U.S. This award and continued research excellence further solidifies our position as a world-class research university.”
The IVMF’s NEA Creative Forces study will bring together research findings from across a broad range of disciplines, to construct a comprehensive framework describing the factors influencing the overall health, well-being and quality of life for veterans, service members and their families. In the second phase, the team will consider the role and efficacy of a broad range of therapeutic art and recreation programming to positively influence overall health and well-being. Finally, the team will also explore and describe the impacts of therapeutic art programming, focused on military-connected populations across clinical, non-clinical and community-based settings.
As a part of the contract, IVMF will generate a “Military Family Needs Assessment Report” for the NEA Initiative to improve capacity to serve military and veteran families through the arts. Leading the research is IVMF’s Senior Director of Research Nick Armstrong, Ph.D., and Jennifer DeLucia, DAT. The team will also include IVMF doctoral fellow Rachel Linsner Uveges, a Ph.D. student in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
“The mission of the NEA’s Creative Forces Initiative is extraordinary,” says Armstrong. “The network is composed of potters, musicians, painters, writers and artists of all types, working to bring the power of art to help service members and veterans live full and emotionally healthy lives. We are excited to have the opportunity to contribute to this effort.”
The Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and state and local arts agencies with administrative support provided by Americans for the Arts.