Thursday, June 12, 2008

Northern California Blues Festival Fundraiser for Through the Mind

Forming Non-Profit Looks to Blues Festival to Bring Help to Veterans
Through the Mind, a program of the Make A Difference Project Promises to Be a free Alternative for those with PTSD

Sacramento, CA – Recent reports say it all. The war in Iraq is producing one of the worst epidemics of mental disorders among the American military. Suicides are up. Cases of reported PTSD are up. And reports of veterans programs failing to help are up.

Unfortunately for these returning American heroes, the stigma of mental health issues, most notably Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is about as strong as the trouble they are having in their day to day lives, so many do not report it or simply try to deal with it without any direct help from outsiders.

Through the Mind, a forming non-profit program of the Make a Difference project, is passionately approaching this problem by providing free and completely confidential alternative mental health care to returning veterans.

According to Matson Breakey, co-founder of the program, alternative care consists of "any number of options that help the individual to deal with the incident that is at the root of the PTSD. That can be as simple as having a friend to talk to in a non-threatening environment like a coffee shop, or over a good cigar."

Care can range from the simple to the more complex including referral to a professional therapist who is volunteering his or her time to help the veterans.

"It is our intention to offer a number of options that helps the individual become less effected by horrors experienced over there," adds Matson. "This can include meditation, recreational activities, therapeutic exercises, nutrition, and straight forward communication based therapy. And it is all completely confidential."

In fact, other than keeping the clients names and contact information, no other records are kept by the organization. "Any documentation we create is put in a folder and given to the client to keep and bring with next time, if he or she wishes," says Matson.

"The goal is to provide the veteran with a confidential program that matches his/her personal desires, and not just push him into some system that treats every individual the same, no matter background, personal habits or the roots of the incident itself," he adds.

Through the Mind is focusing on PTSD because of its rising appearance among veterans and, according to Matson, "because it is the only mental disorder specifically tied to an incident... to a specific moment when something happened that created a burning engram, a specific trace of that memory, that the individual is now being effected by."

The main barrier to starting any non-profit organization is funding. "It was our intention to be off and running last year," says Matson, "but we did not have the funding. This year, we are hoping that the Northern California Blues Festival will raise enough to effectively launch the program."

Information about the Northern California Blues Festival coming June 21 & 22 to Fair Oaks Park and featuring Elvin Bishop and Maria Muldaur can be found at

Matson "Matsonian" Breakey

June 21 - 22, 2008
Fair Oaks Park, Fair Oaks, CA
916-924-EVENTS (3836)

The Northern California Blues Festival brings together some of the hottest music ever played under the shade of old oak trees in beautiful Fair Oaks Park including music by Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Mighty Mike Schermer, Mick Martin and more great talent. Proceeds benefit Through the Mind, a non-profit providing alternative mental health care to America's returning war veterans.

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