The Center for BrainHealth’s Brain Performance Institute at The University of Texas at Dallas has united with Operation Homefront, a leading national military family and veteran support organization, to empower service members, veterans, military spouses and caregivers to optimize their brain health with an effective, evidence-based high performance brain training program called SMART. A group of 15 veterans and three Operation Homefront staff will travel from across the country to participate in the program July 21-23 in Dallas.
Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience research, the SMART program focuses on the brain’s intricate frontal lobe networks that govern planning, judgment, decision-making, problem-solving, emotional regulation and other cognitive functions. Through the training, warriors and their loved ones are equipped with strategies to achieve maximum brain performance, minimize stress and improve productivity. Program outcome measures among warriors show improvement in trained areas of cognitive performance and real-life benefits including improvement in maintaining a home, managing finances and regulating mood.
Recently published Center for BrainHealth research funded by the Department of Defense shows the training significantly improves the cognitive, neurological and psychological health of veterans who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, including significant reductions in depressive and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.
The veterans participating in the program this week are all recipients of assistance from Operation Homefront. Most are residents in the organization’s “Village” rent-free transitional housing communities in San Diego, Calif., Gaithersburg, Md. and San Antonio, Tx. Through a comprehensive package of individualized family support and financial planning services tailored to wounded warriors leaving the military, the program enables families to heal together while bridging the gap between military pay and veteran benefits.
“Uniting with Operation Homefront, which provides warriors and their families with direct services in the areas of housing, financial assistance and recovery support, is synergistic to our work,” said Eric Bennett, executive director of the Center for BrainHealth’s Brain Performance Institute. “Adding our high performance brain training program to the already successful programs offered by Operation Homefront will give veteran participants an additional set of tools to build a stronger, more resilient brains before, during and after their transition from military to civilian life.”
“We applaud what the Brain Performance Institute and its generous supporters are doing to provide our veterans with cognitive training that holds the promise for greater stability in their lives,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO, Operation Homefront. “Providing valued programs and services that help build strong, stable and secure military families is what we do, making the work of the Brain Performance Institute and Center for BrainHealth a natural fit for us and those who we’re honored to serve.”
Through partnerships with La Quinta Inns & Suites and Southwest Airlines®, both steadfast supporters of the military community, participants will be provided with travel, lodging and training space accommodations at no cost.
Since its founding in 2013, the Center for BrainHealth’s Brain Performance Institute has reached more than 1,100 service members, veterans and military spouses and caregivers in more than 15 states. This top-tier training is made available at no cost to those who have served our nation and their loved ones who have endured sacrifice alongside them through the generous support of the state of Texas, private philanthropists and corporate sponsors.