This summer, we are turning to the UCLA Operation Mend community to help remove a huge barrier to care for our nation’s warriors suffering from symptoms of moderate to severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). By giving their children the opportunity to travel with their parents to Los Angeles and attend UCLA Recreation Summer Camps, we can not only give these children a quintessential summer experience, but provide the veterans and their spouses or caregivers the chance to focus on what they truly need to heal: the opportunity to participate in Operation Mend’s 3-week on-site Intensive Treatment Program, without worrying about their children’s safety or well-being.
The Intensive Treatment Program is intense! Parents participate together in treatment for symptoms of PTSD and mild TBI from Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM – 5 PM for three weeks in a row. So while they’re in treatment, their children will get to experience summer camp, more than likely for the first and only time in their lives. UCLA Recreation Youth Programs offers a wide variety of summer camps for grades K–12. Located at UCLA, the camps emphasize each child's needs and personal development within a group setting. Activities for younger children feature cooperative play and include indoor/outdoor games, arts and crafts, swimming, and field trips.
The work that warriors and their caregivers do is incredibly intense with long days of sessions focused on healing the psychological wounds of serving our country. Since the vast majority of families in ITP travel to Los Angeles from out of state, knowing that their child is safe at UCLA and Operation Summer Camp will be invaluable for their peace of mind.
Three weeks, away from home in an unfamiliar city and separated from their parents for large portions of the day can seem daunting for a child. With our caring staff, and the wonderful, supportive UCLA Recreation staff and counselors, Operation Summer Camp provides three weeks of nonstop fun and games.
Operation Mend is proud to provide these experiences at no cost to the families participating in the Intensive Treatment Program. Most program participants are under severe financial duress and would not be able to participate in a program like Operation Mend, let alone provide their children with an incredible camp experience. Without the donations from our wonderful supporters, we could not provide this truly life-changing experience for these families.
Your generosity will not only provide operational funds for running the camp, but will provide families with the opportunity to heal together. Veterans and their caregivers will feel comforted in knowing their kids will be swimming, playing, crafting, and exploring at UCLA Recreation Day Camps. In the evenings, families will be able to spend quality time together relaxing, strengthening their family bond, and healing together.
Operation Mend is proud to provide these experiences at no cost to the families in ITP. Most program participants are under severe financial duress and would not be able to participate at all without the donations from private philanthropists.
Your generosity will not only provide operational funds for running the camp, but will provide families the opportunity to heal together. Veterans and their caregivers will feel comforted in knowing their kids will be swimming, playing, crafting, and exploring at UCLA Recreation Day Camps. In the evenings, families will be able to spend quality time together relaxing, strengthening their family bond, and healing together.
Your gift, no matter the size, can bring a peace of mind to a struggling parent or a day of carefree fun to the life of a child.
Founded in 2007, Operation Mend provides advanced surgical, medical, and psychological treatment for post 9-11 era military service members injured during combat or while training for service. Operation Mend offers comprehensive psychological health and social support for wounded service members and their family members. There is no cost to patients, their families, or caregivers for these services, including their medical or mental health treatments, travel-related expenses, and lodging.
All funding for the care of these warriors and their families comes from the support of grateful Americans and donors.
In response to the growing need for specialized mental health services, Operation Mend founded its Intensive Treatment Program (ITP) in 2016 for service members and veterans suffering with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). The structured Intensive Treatment Program is designed for patients who require more than standard outpatient care and includes 3 weeks of treatment on campus at UCLA followed by 3 weeks of provider-facilitated peer-to-peer support over TeleHealth.
What has distinguished Operation Mend from the beginning is the program’s focus on including the family in care and providing comprehensive case management, coordination, and support that helps the entire family transition back into normal life. All transportation (including being met at the airplane gate), lodging, social support through the buddy family program and all medical care, case management and psychological care are provided by UCLA Operation Mend at no cost to the warriors or their family members.
Operation Mend launched its intensive treatment program with an initial donation of $15.7 million from Wounded Warrior Project in 2016, and operates as part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. The Operation Mend model is a “one-door” approach for all patients and their families, regardless of their specific medical needs. All Operation Mend participants receive concierge, personalized care, including:
The ability to bring family, friends, or other caregivers throughout the duration of care
Coordination of all travel to LA and local housing
Patient pick up and drop off at the airline gate for every arrival and departure in LA
Support from local volunteer families through the Buddy Programs
Comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to holistic patient and family-centered care
Individualized intake, evaluation, and treatment planning
Regular interdisciplinary case review
Coordination with referring case managers, advocates, and/or primary care providers to maintain patient’s continuum of care pre- and post UCLA care