Today, Second Lady Karen Pence visited New Directions for Veterans (NDVets) in Los Angeles, California. She was accompanied by Mrs. Hollyanne Milley, wife of the Army’s Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley.
Upon arrival, Mrs. Pence and Mrs. Milley were greeted by NDVets Co-Founder, Larry Williams, CEO, Colonel (Retired) Yvette Kelley, Director of Clinical Services, Matthew Rohr, Vice President of Development, Molly Ann Mroczynski, Chief Program Officer, Dr. Susan Michael, and art therapist, Tara Beach. After the greeting, Mrs. Pence and Mrs. Milley received a brief overview of the services offered by New Directions for Veterans, including an overview of the art therapy program.
Following the overview about NDVets, two veterans in the art therapy program shared some of their artwork with Mrs. Pence and Mrs. Milley. After the meeting with the veterans, art therapist, Tara Beach presented a case summary, which consisted of several pieces of artwork created by one of her clients who suffered from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Before the meeting concluded, the art therapist shared information about the art therapy at NDVets.
“New Directions for Veterans is making a difference with our veterans who are battling mental health issues as a result of their fight in the battlefields to protect our freedoms,” said Mrs. Pence. “Art therapy is a unique mental health treatment that gives our military service members and veterans the opportunity to heal. I applaud New Directions for Veterans for their dedication and commitment to improving lives.”
“New Directions for Veterans offers one of the most comprehensive mental health programs for veterans in the United States,” said Colonel Yvette Kelley, President & CEO of New Directions for Veterans. “Our clinical staff has implemented an extensive range of mental health services including Neurofeedback and Somatic therapies – all tailored to meet the individual needs of our veterans. Art therapy has proven a beneficial component of our program, especially with the veteran population. It creates a safe environment where they can non-verbally release traumas, emotions and experiences that can often become obstacles in their recovery. We are honored to be recognized by Second Lady Karen Pence, who shares our passion for both veterans and the benefits of art therapy.”
To stay updated on Mrs. Pence’s events, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.
Photos of today’s visit are below. Photo credit: Office of the Second Lady
About Art Therapy
Second Lady Karen Pence chose one initiative to champion, and it is art therapy. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Art therapy is facilitated by professional art therapists who are experts in human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques.
About New Directions for Veterans
Since 1992, New Directions for Veterans (NDVets) has helped our nation’s heroes successfully address the challenges of life after military service. Guided by the mission to empower men and women who served in the military, and their families, to lead productive and fulfilling lives, NDVets helps Los Angeles-area homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness to effectively transform their lives.