American Red Cross connects military families overseas through virtual safe space

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MONROE,La. (KNOE)- The American Red Cross has launched the Virtual Resiliency program that's designed to help military spouses, injured veterans, and caregivers find healthy coping mechanisms to manage pandemic-related stress.

The American Red Cross has launched the Virtual Resiliency program designed to help military spouses, injured veterans, and caregivers find healthy coping mechanisms to manage pandemic-related stress.

The program offers workshops hosted by mental health professionals. In these workshops, military families and veterans discuss topics like managing the stress of isolation, healthy communication, and building wellness plans.

COVID-19 has created a new layer of stress for people in the military community including delayed family reunions, unforeseeable deployment schedules, and being separated from their support systems.

Many service members are separated from their families overseas, so the workshops were created to help them reconnect with loved ones. Regional Director of Service to Armed Forces Leslie Jones said, as a military spouse, she is passionate about this cause.

“For me it’s just exciting to help my friends, my neighbors, my family, that I’ve built within the community over the years and it’s an honor for me and a privilege to be able to carry on this legacy,” said Jones.

The workshops last about 60-90 minutes. They are offered to service members overseas and all across the country.

“When we meet over Zoom, we are talking about work, we are talking about different projects, and it’s nice to just kind of pull away from those everyday tasks and talk about what’s really going on, the underlying stress of working from home, multi-tasking, and adjusting to this environment,” she said.

Since going virtual, Jones said they have been able to make an even greater impact with some workshops being facilitated as far as Korea. In Louisiana, there are about 13 Red Cross volunteers that offer this workshop.

Their next workshop is Wednesday, May 27. To sign up for a Virtual Workshop, you can visit their website.