WASHINGTON–Ahead of Veteran’s Day, National Geographic, in a partnership with 360i, has released Bravo Tango Brain Training, the first-ever voice activated meditation app designed specifically for veterans, with the aim of providing another tool in the effort to enhance mental health support for America’s veteran community. The meditation app will be available for free on smartphones via the Google Assistant app and Google Home Devices beginning today, November 9th. To begin, say “Ok Google, talk to Bravo Tango.”
Bravo Tango Brain Training was developed in partnership with former Air Force Psychologist and combat veteran Dr. Michael Valdovinos who specializes in military and veteran psychological health and has vast experience working with transitioning and reintegrating service members. Working together, National Geographic, their agency partner 360i, Dr. Valdovinos and app developer Xapp created a voice-powered app that will give veterans easy access to one of the most effective methods for reducing stress and maintaining healthy coping practices- meditation and mindfulness.
“Many veterans are hesitant to try meditation and mindfulness because of societal stereotypes it carries in our community. In my practice, however, I’ve found meditation, mindfulness and voice therapy to be highly effective in reducing stress, refining focus and raising optimism. Bravo Tango Brain Training is a bridge to seeking help and brings a unique approach directly to the veteran community where we feel safest: our homes,” says Dr. Valdovinos.
The approach used in the app is supported by numerous studies, including those published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, Military Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Psychology that have found breathing-based meditation intervention to result in reduced stress, anxiety, feelings of depression and slowed respiration rates. In one case, 90% of veteran participants completed the study, suggesting high acceptability of meditation practices.
In producing their scripted series, The Long Road Home, based on Martha Raddatz’s New York Times best-selling book that chronicles the lives of service members and their families through deployment and post-deployment, National Geographic gained deep insights into the home life of veterans, ultimately realizing there was an opportunity to expand the impact of their stories. Inspired by the real-life veterans portrayed in the series, National Geographic along with 360i wanted to go a step further and do something to not only enhance mental health support for veterans and reduce barriers to seeking treatment but also bring renewed attention to important veterans’ issues. As part of launching the series, the network has also partnered with numerous veteran’s organizations including the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Team Rubicon, Blue Star Families, The Mission Continues,Veterans of Foreign Wars, Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation, and the USO.
“We were so inspired by the real-life stories which The Long Road Home series was based on, and we wanted to expand our support with something tangible, useful and needed for the veteran community,” says Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “As we began to explore the veteran support space with 360i, it became apparent that many of the current wellness app options for veterans do not address their specific needs. Technological advances often leave veterans behind, and we hope we can do some good by providing this simple, but powerful technology.”
“It was an incredible privilege to be a part of The Long Road Home project. In seeing it come to life, I again gained new insight into the daily struggles veterans so often face,” says Martha Raddatz, “It means a lot to me that National Geographic is taking their support of this community one step further and providing easier access to the help they seek.”
Many from the veteran community have endorsed Bravo Tango Brain Training, including former Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter who says, “For many veterans, returning home is the toughest battle they face. Supporting their mental health requires an all-hands effort. I commend Bravo Tango for leveraging innovative technology to make practical and comforting wellness steps more accessible to our men and women in uniform.”
Bravo Tango Brain Training is free and now available on all smart phones and voice-powered devices with Google Assistant. To use, open the Google Assistant app, and say “Ok Google, talk to Bravo Tango.” The program will then guide the user to an appropriate exercise based on how they’re feeling. Bravo Tango recognizes over 40 moods, including anger, loneliness, anxiety, disappointment, regret, sadness, fatigue, fear and insomnia. Exercises range from breathing, and focus, to grounding and visualization, even interpersonal connection and muscle relaxation. While Bravo Tango Brain Training is an effective and accessible method for reducing stress and anxiety, it should not be used as a replacement for ongoing professional care. For more information, please reference the Terms & Conditions.
Click here for the official Bravo Tango press kit, including photos and video assets.
About “The Long Road Home”
No soldier fights alone. Based on the New York Times best-selling book by internationally acclaimed journalist Martha Raddatz, The Long Road Home tells the story of “Black Sunday,” when a small platoon of soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division was ferociously ambushed in Sadr City, Baghdad, in April 2004. Eight Americans would make the ultimate sacrifice that day, and more than 65 would be seriously wounded.
The global miniseries event airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on National Geographic and offers viewers a gripping and intimate look at the toll war takes on soldiers and their families. The adrenaline-fueled and deeply emotional journey follows the action on two fronts: the chaotic and terror-filled streets of Sadr City and the home front at Fort Hood, where family members desperately await news of their loved ones. The Long Road Home ensemble cast includes Michael Kelly, Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne Callies, Noel Fisher and Jeremy Sisto.
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeowild.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
360i is an award-winning agency that helps brands capitalize on change. As a highly strategic creative and media partner with a deep understanding of how people discover brands and share stories, we don’t just react to changes in the marketplace – we predict and define them. By bringing together some of the smartest, most curious people with expertise in data, creativity, media, strategy, search, and social, we help our clients achieve their objectives and drive their business forward. And our hustle doesn’t go unnoticed. We’ve been recognized in Advertising Age's Agency A-List issue seven years in a row, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and ranked amongst the best Lead Agencies and Search Agencies by Forrester Research. That’s some range. We work with brands including HBO, National Geographic, DSW, Mondelez and Capital One. To learn more about us, visit www.360i.com.
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