The mental health of military Veterans is in the news this month as we honor the men and women who have served our country. More than one-third who’ve been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan need care for mental health conditions, which means that hundreds of thousands of families across the country are affected, too.
Knowing that the loved ones caring for Veterans face a common set of struggles, NAMI offers a unique program of support and connection for them. NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session program for families, friends and caregivers of military Vets who live with mental health conditions.
Even before COVID made live gatherings riskier, NAMI Homefront was offered online for those who couldn’t meet in person. Now, the virtual version of this program is even more crucial for spouses, partners, friends and caregivers who need greater support in stressful times.
A Virtual Course Taught by Caregivers from Military Families
NAMI Homefront is based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, with specific focus on the issues that active-duty, reserve or retired military personnel and their loved ones face. Weekly sessions are led by trained family members who’ve provided care for a service member.
If you are living with or providing care for a Veteran, NAMI Homefront can help you:
> Learn self-care and stress management skills to help you cope
> Offer compassionate support for your loved one
> Find and tap into national, state and local services
> Stay informed on the latest research on PTSD, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression and substance use — conditions that affect hundreds of thousands of Vets
> Understand current treatments and therapies that can help
> Navigate the challenges that mental health conditions have on the entire family
> Manage in crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively
What Participants Say
Since its launch in 2014, NAMI Homefront has reached thousands of military spouses, partners and families nationwide. Last year, a study published in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association, reported that the program delivers significant benefits for those who attend.
“This training has been really helpful for me to process much of my own emotions,” one participant said. “I am at a point now that being able to stop and look back at exactly how far we’ve come and being reminded of the painful past but positive changes was very empowering.”
“I realized I saw signs and symptoms of PTSD, but did not know how to handle my loved one,” said another. “Now I know better how to handle situations.”
Where to Register and Find More Resources
Learn more about NAMI Homefront and register for upcoming sessions here. And for more background on Veterans and mental health, including more resources and programs that may help your family, visit NAMI’s main website.