Québec Veterans Foundation

The Québec Veterans Foundation is one of the recipients of the 2021 Bell True Patriot Love Fund. Below they’ve answered some questions to help us learn a little more about their program, what they hope to achieve, and what they aim to do with the funding provided. 

1. Tell me a bit about your organization and its mission.

Energizen specializes in therapeutic yoga for Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. The energy of the sessions is devoted to creating a safe space so that participants have access to their present moment through mindfulness, different postures, flow, and breath work. Founder and teacher of Energizen, Cynthia Maher, is certified by the Yoga Alliance of the United States, E-RYT 500 and has been teaching yoga since 2002. 

2. Can you describe your program in 3-4 sentences, including the goals the program aims to achieve? 

This program offers specialized yoga sessions to Veterans and an opportunity for them to break out of isolation, which is often at the root of many of the difficulties that Veterans face. We also offer tips and tricks throughout our lessons that Veterans can integrate into their daily lives. In addition to providing them with a space where they can socialize, we also provide Veterans with helpful resources that can empower them to adopt healthy lifestyles.  

3. What is the desired outcome of your program and its impact on the Veteran and military community? 

The desired result of this program is to help Veterans achieve a better quality of life, and doing so by helping them to better control their symptoms of PTSD. This includes teaching them how to, 

  • Regulate their mood and sleep 
  • Adopt a more positive attitude 
  • Learn ways of watching out for their blood pressure anxiety level  
  • Manage their anxiety levels 
  • Cope with pain  

This is all done with the goal of ultimately helping Veterans improve their life satisfaction. It’s important to note that activities that call for in person attendance do pose a challenge for many participants with severe PTSD. Leaving their house, driving, and entering a building can trigger anxiety-inducing memories and reflexes. This is one of the reasons why the recurrence of these activities is so important. 

4. What does this grant from the Bell True Patriot Love Fund mean to you? 

This funding allows us to offer yoga sessions corresponding to the specific needs of Veterans in a safe, healthy, and controlled environment. It also allows Veterans to create a healthy network of peers they can rely on even after their participation in this program is complete. Finally, the funding allows us to continue these yoga sessions to which Veterans are deeply attached.