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Red Cross Helps Service Members and Families Reconnect


Many service members return from deployment and successfully readjust to their lives at home. Others experience difficulty in readjusting or transitioning back to family life, their jobs and living in their communities.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing service members and their families, and offer ways the American Red Cross can help.

Some of 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
  • Managing long-term health problems that can be present after deployment, such as Post-traumatic Stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury and depression.

Last September, the Red Cross, with support from Walmart, developed the Reconnection Workshops, Presented by Walmart, for all military families to assist them with managing the challenges of reintegration.

The Reconnection Workshops, Presented by Walmart, are interactive small group meetings in which participants learn skills and strategies that can enhance the likelihood of positive reconnections among family members, and positively impact the successful reintegration of service members into civilian life. Actively licensed mental health professionals who are specially trained Red Cross volunteers facilitate the workshops, which cover topics relevant to a successful transition. Topics include:

  • Communicating Clearly
  • Exploring Stress and Trauma
  • Identifying Depression
  • Relating to Children
  • Working Through Anger

The series, developed in cooperation with military experts, is available at no charge,to family members and loved ones of all service members from any branch of the Armed Forces, as well as National Guard, Reserves, and all veterans.

Read more and find out how you can register for the Reconnection Workshops, Presented by Walmart.