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Holistic programme to help homeless people reintegrate into society: David Lynch Foundation

David Lynch Foundation - USA    Translate This Article
29 December 2010

The David Lynch Foundation offers a re-entry program for the homeless: a practical, highly effective, humane program to reduce acute and chronic stress and stress-related disorders, decrease anxiety and depression, overcome addictions, and simultaneously develop the brain and creative potential of the individual for a healthy, productive, self-sufficient life.

What constitutes a holistic program to help the homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reintegrate into society? Along with proper housing, education, job training, and a network of qualified support, these adults and children must be equipped with the tools to overcome the traumatic stresses which fueled their descent into homelessness and which, if left unchecked, could send them back into relapse.

The homeless in America: Addressing a national shame
An estimated 3.5 million people were homeless at some point during 2010. Even worse, 1.35 million were children.
∙ Each night more than 700,000 people are homeless. Of these, nearly 40 percent are families.
∙ Approximately 40 percent of homeless men are veterans.
∙ Approximately 30 percent of homeless people have been incarcerated.

Approach of the David Lynch Foundation
Working in collaboration with nonprofit organizations including the Doe Fund in New York City, the David Lynch Foundation offers the Transcendental Meditation program—a simple, natural, effortless technique, easily learned by anyone, regardless of age, educational background, or walk of life. The technique produces a unique and profound state of rest and relaxation, which eliminates the buildup of acute stress, while also promoting healthy, coherent brain functioning—the basis for improved decision making, judgment, and impulse control. The technique does not involve any religion, philosophy, or change in lifestyle.

The program can be introduced into a wide range of settings and is taught and administered by specially qualified meditation teachers.

Scientific research has documented the beneficial effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in reducing acute and chronic stress and overcoming addictions. A few highlights:
Decreased Alcohol and Drug Usage. Treating and preventing alcohol, nicotine, and drug abuse through Transcendental Meditation: A review and statistical meta-analysis. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 1994: 11: 13-87.
Decreased Recidivism. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on recidivism among former inmates of Folsom prison: Survival analysis of 15-year follow-up data. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 2003: 36, 181-203.
Decreased Anxiety. Differential effects of relaxation techniques on trait anxiety: A meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1989: 45(6), 957-974.
Decreased Psychological Distress and Improved Coping Ability. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. American Journal of Hypertension, 2009: 22, 1326-1331.
Decreased Stress Reduction and Improved Employee Development. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on stress reduction, health, and employee development: A prospective study in two occupational settings. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 1993: 6, 245-262.

Watch short videos on the effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in helping the homeless and other at-risk people, on the Homeless Shelters page of the David Lynch Foundation website:
∙ Teenage girls find strength in a homeless shelter
∙ Empowering homeless men in Harlem
∙ Overcoming the trauma of the streets: Norman Rosenthal, MD, distinguished psychiatrist and researcher on Transcendental Meditation and traumatic stress.

For more about current initiatives of the David Lynch Foundation—including collaborations with the DOE Fund of New York to teach Transcendental Meditation to 200 homeless and at-risk men and women; and with Children of the Night to teach the technique to 100 at-risk teenage girls—as well as how to implement a program, click here.

Future Global Good News articles will feature more about the work of the David Lynch Foundation with American Indians and prisons, as well as global outreach programs to help at-risk children in violence-ridden regions of the world.

© Copyright 2010 David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace

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