2020 War with Azerbaijan Traumatizes Armenia

Bring Back The Smiles

Armenians have faced great challenges from their neighbors for millennia. The 2020 hostilities with Azerbaijan have created trauma and stress for individual Armenians, and for the nation as a whole.

What are we doing?

Since February 2021, a team of Armenian teachers of the Transcendental Meditation® technique (TM), Americans TM teachers with Armenian heritage, and other supporters formed ArmeniaRecoveryNow and have met with many Armenian ministries and provincial governments offering our assistance.

In the last two weeks of April, a number of provincial governments invited our team to start teaching traumatized people, including those displaced by the war. Government psychologists have learned TM. Ministries are in discussions with us to do pilot projects. The nation is opening to the rapid and effective reduction in traumatic stress that TM provides.

The ArmeniaRecoveryNow project will provide those in need with instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique, a simple, natural, easily learned technique practiced 20 minutes twice a day sitting comfortably. Ten million people around the world have learned the TM technique. TM is not a philosophy or a religion and involves no belief or change in lifestyle. To date, 13 scientific papers have been published demonstrating that TM significantly reduces post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Hundreds of rigorous peer-reviewed studies on TM show its benefits for mind, body, behavior, and environment. This will be part of an integrated approach for not only the mind, but the body, emotions, and environment. Even from the first few days, people begin to feel relief.

Standardized testing for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and sleep will be used to monitor the effectiveness of the program. Testing will be administered before instruction in TM, after 30 days, and after 90 days, and will take about 15 minutes each time. The results can be shared with government and may be submitted for publication.

We invited TM teachers from around the world to join this project and more than 40 teachers offered to help. We are encouraging humanitarians to provide financial support to allow teachers to give desperately needed relief.

Earthquake Relief 1989-90

This is not the first time TM has brought relief to Armenians in crisis.

Group Meditation in 1989-90

In 1989-90 over the period of one year, a team of TM teachers taught 30,000 Armenians overwhelmed with the stress of the earthquake that killed 10% of the population. Like so many, soon after learning TM, “the wailing women of Leninakan” (now Gyumri) who had been unable to overcome their grief began to smile and laugh again.

First TM Course in Armenia at Ministry of Health, 1989

How can you help?

Now, we need to bring more certified TM teachers from around the world to help the teachers already in Armenia. A team of 10 teachers for 6 months, including their compensation, airfare, and travel and housing within the country will cost $150,000 US. With a team of this size, we will have the capacity to bring relief to thousands of Armenians.

In 1989-90 a team of 10 was able to teach more than 15,000 people in six months. If we could do the same this time the cost would be $10 per person instructed—a huge achievement.

But with smaller more widely distributed populations and the smaller groups we can work with safely due to the social distancing requirements during COVID-19, it may require more time.

We don’t want to wait to begin. The message we are giving each province is that we are ready to start. And we have already started with our first courses for displaced people from Artsakh.

At the advice and direction of the Armavir provincial government, at the end of April Svetlana Galstyan began to teach Transcendental Meditation to displaced persons in the town of Metsamor.

Within the first week of instruction into TM, these new meditators reported: 

This teaching gave mental peace, something that was lacking in me (before learning TM) and taught me to take everything easy. Hope will be helpful. But I really feel happy. — One lady

 I feel the importance of two meditations daily.  Now I feel calm, I don’t strain in making a decision. I feel less tired. —  Second lady who is taking care of 5 children, ages 2 to 14, for her daughter-in-law, who is dead

After learning meditation I feel more lively. I feel a lot of revitalizing energy. I am more tolerant toward people. — Third lady

Mental calm, warmth, confidence.  We made friends. Growth of love and respect. – fourth displaced person, a lady.

Your support is critical. Help us bring relief through the evidenced-based TM technique to large numbers of adults and children in Armenia and Artsakh. Funds will support the teachers already in Armenia and sending more teachers quickly. And we will continue expanding as more donations are received.

We will use 100% of your tax-deductible gift where it is needed most.

Who are we?

Alliance for PTSD Recovery is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to Alliance for PTSD Recovery are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Alliance for PTSD Recovery’s tax identification number is 82-1085349.

Other organizations and charities working to make ArmeniaRecoveryNow possible include David Lynch Foundation (DLF), David Lynch Foundation Caucasus, Global Union of Scientists for Peace, and Center for Social Emotional Health and Consciousness, MIU.