President Obama highlighted the challenges facing U.S. combat veterans in his State of the Union address Tuesday. Keith Tidball, a veteran and senior extension associate in Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources, lauds the president’s initiative, noting that outdoor activities can be effective therapy for returning veterans.

Tidball says:

“I applaud President Obama for bringing national attention to a different battle that many soldiers and veterans face in their daily lives ¬–¬ the battle for optimal mental health.

“These challenges often go unrecognized and more attention needs to be paid to the mental health of our men and women in uniform. Programs such as those being analyzed in the Returning Warriors Outdoor Recreation, Restoration, and Resilience Study can help and we need to expand support for more of these initiatives."

"The Returning Warriors study is demonstrating that agricultural activities such as those sponsored by the Farmer Veteran Coalition, outdoor recreation programs such as those conducted by Project Healing Waters or Wounded Warriors in Action, and restoration projects like those carried out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Veterans Corps really tap into multiple therapeutic benefits of reconnecting with the living world, which in turn helps veterans reconnect with themselves, their families, and their communities after combat.”

For more information about the Returning Warriors Outdoor Recreation, Restoration, and Resilience Study,

Register for reporter access to contact details