Get updates delivered to your inbox

The Challenge

The Epidemic of Trauma and Toxic Stress

Stress has been dubbed the "Health Epidemic of the 21st Century" by the World Health Organization. Our mission is to provide a non-pharmacological, non-invasive, evidence-based approach to help those deeply effected by trauma.

Psychological trauma is a mental health condition that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event or repeated events. It is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds a person’s ability to cope with the resulting emotions.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. The APA reports that 75 percent of all physician office visits are stress-related ailments and complaints.

Research has shown that chronic stress affects your brain function, suppresses your thyroid, causes imbalances in blood sugar, decreases bone density and muscle tissue, raises blood pressure, reduces your immunity and ability to heal, increases fat deposits around your abdomen that are associated with heart attacks, strokes and elevated “bad” cholesterol, and can lead to obesity.

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) can cause depression, emotional numbness, anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, overwhelming social fears and phobias, opioid and alcohol use disorders, among others.

“I’m not afraid anymore. I feel good about myself. I’m not smoking or taking drugs. I’m even sleeping better. I have energy for the first time in a long time. I’m thinking about my future. And it all began when I started meditating.” – Sexual abuse survivor

Epidemic levels of stress and trauma have become a global crisis. In the U.S., an estimated 40 million adults, or 18% have an anxiety disorder, according to National Institutes of Mental Health. War veterans, inner-city children who live with the threat of violence every day, women and children survivors of sexual and domestic abuse and those caught in a cycle of substance use disorder or crime – whom it is the David Lynch Foundation’s mission to serve – are especially hard hit. Our outreach also extends to adults and children crushed by traumatic stress overseas. With our program partners in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and beyond, those we help are learning how to cope with challenges through the simple, effortless, medically proven Transcendental Meditation technique.


The annual cost to society of stress and anxiety disorders is estimated to be over $42.3 billion. This includes psychiatric and non-psychiatric medical treatment costs, indirect workplace costs, mortality costs and prescription drugs.

Get updates delivered to your inbox