This post was written by Liz Fielden, who is in the Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces department at the National Headquarters in DC. Her focus is in mental health services for service members and their families. Follow her on Twitter at @fielden10910
Most of us are familiar with the heartwarming videos and images of service members reuniting with their families after returning home from deployment.
However, after the cameras disappear and reality of being home after a deployment sets in, some service members experience challenges readjusting into life with their families, their jobs and their communities. These challenges include:
• Readjusting to partners who assumed new roles during the separation
• Engaging children who have matured and may resent additional oversight
• Reestablishing bonds with their spouse and children
• Readjusting to the returning service member
• Realigning the family decision-making process
• Redefining the family routine
• Changes in their jobs and finances
• Managing concerns that may be prevalent after deployment, such as Post-traumatic stress
• (PTSD); traumatic brain injury and depression.
To help support and ease the transition home, the American Red Cross provides Reconnection Workshops, dedicated to our country’s service men and women and their families and loved ones. These workshops focus on individual/small group discussion that enhances the likelihood of positive reunions among family members and the successful reengagement of the service member in civilian life. Sessions and materials focus on learning useful tools, effective coping mechanisms and where to find resources. Available workshops include:
• Communicating Clearly
• Exploring Stress and Trauma
• Identifying Depression
• Relating to Children
• Working Through Anger
Recently featured in the University of Phoenix Patriot Magazine, Kimberly Darden describes how the Reconnection Workshops helped prepare her and her husband from his return home from Afghanistan.
To register for one or all of these valuable workshops, please email your name, city/state and which workshop(s) you are interested to firstname.lastname@example.org.