Written by: Lucas Blankenship, Master of Public Administration Student West Virginia University and MFLN Military Caregiving Concentration.
As a member of a military family myself, I remember all too well the stress and strain that deployment and reintegration can have on military members, their families, and those close to them. Often, we think of how we can help those in the military community. How can we serve those who serve? One way is accessing services, resources, and programs offered by the American Red Cross.
“Serving those who serve” is the mission of the American Red Cross – Service to Armed Forces (SAF) program. One-way SAF serves the military community is through their Resiliency Program and Workshops. For military personnel, veterans, their families, and those close to them, SAF offers workshops such as Reconnection and Mind-Body Workshops. On September 29, 2021 at 11 AM Eastern, American Red Cross representatives will provide an overview of these workshops through a webinar offered by the MFLN Military Caregiving Concentration.
Reconnection workshops are offered for adults, teens, and children. These sessions are designed for small group interaction and hands-on learning. Workshops for adults include Effective Communication, Stress Solutions, Defusing Anger, and more. Workshops for teens and children include similar topics, like Communication and Confident Coping.
Mind and Body workshops focus on developing techniques to live mindfully and manage unhealthy or chronic stress. These workshops are also small group based and experiential. Participants engage in a range of mind and body exercises such as breathing exercises, stretching, and guided imagery.
Workshops offered by SAF last for 60-90 minutes with an audience of 3-12 participants. Attending these workshops is free and they are held in a variety of locations like military installations, at community events, and even virtually.
To request, find, register, and attend a workshop, contact your local American Red Cross, visit redcross.org, call 1 (800) 733-2767, or download the free HeroCare app for Apple and Android. HeroCare can also be found by texting “GETHEROCARE” to 90999.
To learn more about the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, their workshops, and how to connect, consider viewing our training, hosted by Ed Helphinstine, American Red Cross Regional Service to the Armed Forces and International Services Program Officer, and Paul Helo, DMH/MSW and Red Cross volunteer. More information and to view this training to: American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.
The MLFN is committed to fostering family resiliency and to making connections to helpful programs and services. The American Red Cross is a vital resource in this regard. Further information on the American Red Cross and its services to military families and communities can be found in a previous blog post by MFLN Military Caregiving Concentration team member, Christopher Plein, Ph.D.