Courage Foundation

Carlsbad, CA   |  http://couragefoundation.net

Mission

The Courage Foundation’s mission is to foster post-traumatic growth, restore purpose and transform lives through integrative self-awareness, physical health, mental toughness, emotional resilience and spiritual well-being. Courage Foundation educates, equips and empowers veterans living with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) with the skills, resources and training to thrive. We seek to restore a sense of purpose, hope and connection for veterans with PTS who desire to cultivate more meaningful and courageous lives.

Ruling year info

2016

President

Mark Divine

Main address

5825 Avenida Encinas #109

Carlsbad, CA 92008 USA

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EIN

81-3196323

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

It is estimated that over half a million veterans have returned home from combat suffering with post-traumatic stress. Fewer than half of the soldiers who report symptoms of combat-related PTS receive the care they need. Many soldiers that begin treatment, walk away from treatment before its completion. This is due to a general lack of trust for mental health professionals, a belief that psychological problems tend to work themselves out on their own and a perception that seeking mental health treatment should be a last resort. There is a need for a less invasive, individual and peer-centered approach.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Veterans with PTSD

From the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs: "The potential clinical utility of integrating mindfulness-based exercises in extant PTSD treatments has yet to be examined empirically. However, given the beneficial effects of mindfulness practice on enhancing emotion regulation as well as decreasing anxiety and depressive symptoms , mindfulness has been increasingly discussed in the context of PTSD and its treatment. The relevant theoretical and empirical literature suggests that mindfulness may serve clinically meaningful functions in alleviating PTSD symptoms.”

The absence of a cure makes PTSD treatment a multifaceted challenge. There is emerging evidence that exercise can be a valuable component of a comprehensive PTSD treatment plan (Tsatsoulis and Fountoulakis, 2006).

Mark Divine’s Unbeatable Mind ™ training integrates physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and spiritual aspects of one’s being through simple and highly effective self-administered training tools. Studies looking at the individual components of these 5 domains have all shown positive impacts on countering PTSD. We believe the most effective treatment of PTSD is found by re-integrating the vet, and integrated development will prove to be the most effective means to re-integrate. This includes development of self-awareness, situational awareness, emotional control and resiliency, physical health and fitness, positivity and re-discovering one’s Passion, Purpose and Principles in life. Once these aspects of one’s personality are strengthened, then the vet can positively integrate back into their family, meaningful relationships and to society at large.

The Courage Foundation will work with various Veteran’s groups and veteran’s health care professionals to make Unbeatable Mind ™ training available to veterans that could benefit. We will also seek to collaborate with clinical research teams on Federal grant funding to study the benefits.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our programs bring veterans together to train toward common goals, building trust, comradery and social support. The training integrates physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and spiritual aspects of one's being through simple and highly effective self-administered training tools. The methodologies utilized in the program include the body, mind and spirit; such as physical training, yoga, mindfulness meditation, breathing techniques, contemplation, journaling, visualization, positivity reinforcement, goal-setting, teamwork and service. All of these practices have been shown to facilitate post-traumatic growth.

We believe the most potent means of fostering post-traumatic growth in veterans is by integrated development. The outcomes include development of self-awareness, situational awareness, emotional control and resiliency, physical health and fitness, positivity and re-discovering one's Passion, Principles and Purpose in life. Once these aspects of one's personality are strengthened, then the veteran can positively integrate back into their family, meaningful relationships and society at large.

Commander Mark Divine, founder of The Courage Foundation and retired Navy SEAL, has spent his post-Navy career helping people from all walks of life break through barriers to develop resilience and reach peak levels of performance. His integrated warrior development program, Unbeatable Mind, has been effective in increasing mental toughness and emotional resilience in Navy SEAL candidates, professional athletes and entrepreneurs. The Courage Foundation was established to provide this transformative training to veterans with posttraumatic stress.

Our programs bring veterans together to train toward common goals, building trust, comradery, social support and restoring purpose. The
training integrates physical, mental, emotional, intuition/awareness and spiritual aspects of one’s being through simple and highly effective self-administered training tools. Resilience to stress is associated consistently with at least 6psychosocial factors: active coping methods, regular physical exercise, a positive outlook, a moral compass, social support, and cognitive flexibility. Unbeatable Mind Integrated Training provides a framework and tools to develop these factors, and potentially reduce the symptoms of posttraumatic stress in veterans and promote posttraumatic growth.

The Veteran Integration Program (V.I.P.) is a year-long program that helps warriors help themselves with peer and mentor support rooted in Unbeatable Mind mental toughness and emotional resilience integrated training. The VIP approach is to build a sense of team among the vets, train veterans in daily practices that lead to resilience and posttraumatic growth, and to provide continued support and training for a full year.
• 3 day in-person retreat in Unbeatable Mind Integrated Training and Team Building in the SEAL tradition: Boat crews and swim buddies
provide social support and accountability.

• 12 months of online Unbeatable Mind Integrated Training Course in physical fitness, mental toughness and emotional resilience.

• 12 months of coaching support by your boat crew’s certified Unbeatable Mind coach.

• Ongoing peer support from teammates during and beyond the program. Your swim buddy and boat crew will always have your back
and support your progress forward.

• Regular team challenges and physical training goals.

Unbeatable Mind is continually training certified coaches around the country so that we will be able to scale the program.

Courage Foundation

Financials

Courage Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Courage Foundation

Board of directors
as of 5/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mark Divine

Unbeatable LLC

Term: 2018 - 2020

Mark Divine

SEALFIT INC., UNBEATABLE MIND INC.

Bacho Vega

Vega Law Group LLC

Sean Esbjorn-Hargens

Meta Integral Inc.

Joshua Mantz

Darker Souls, LLC

Gregory Amundson

CrossFit Amundson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No