American Red Cross, whose long history started on the battlefield, is keenly aware there are some struggles a warm blanket and a hot meal cannot address—which is why they are committed to programs geared toward the mental health of service members, veterans and the people who care for them.
“One of my favorite programs in Service to the Armed Forces is the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network,” says Jessica Wheeler, regional director of Service to the Armed Forces here in Northern Michigan. “It’s created by and for caregivers of military personnel and provides structured peer support to caregivers from all eras, all relationships and across all locations.” The goal of this online virtual network is to increase caregiver connectivity and reduce isolation. Caregivers can connect and engage with other caregivers, learn new skills, access resources and mentor others.
In addition, the Red Cross offers free resiliency workshops to help provide service members, veterans and families with tools to face challenges and stress, including instruction in coping and communication skills. All workshops are live, interactive and virtual, and are facilitated by Red Cross volunteer licensed/credentialed mental health professionals. The workshops are open to anyone with a military veteran affiliation—this includes partners, donors, service members, spouses, friends and staff members.
The Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces program helps more than 471,000 members of the military each year and relies on 14,000 volunteers in the U.S. and around the world to provide everything from care and comfort items for hospitalized veterans to communicating with service members in distant locations and connecting them to home and loved ones.
To help support this mission, donors can earmark donations supporting armed forces members at redcross.org/SAF, or send general donations via redcross.org/donate. Volunteers are always needed; for local volunteer information, visit redcross.org/local/michigan or call 313.833.4440.
This Article Was First Featured in Northern Michigan GIVE 2021
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