American Red Cross Military & Veteran Caregiver Network offers peer support and robust resource library

Increasing caregiver connection, knowledge, skills and hope


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American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network’s mission is to provide military and Veteran caregivers with peer support. This support reduces their isolation and increase their senses of connectedness, engagement, hopefulness, wellness, as well as their knowledge and skills.

The Red Cross’s Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (Red Cross MVCN) assists caregivers of all ages, at all stages of caregiving. The network provides access to three peer support programs: An Online Peer Support Community, Peer Mentor Support Program, and Peer Support Groups Online & Community-Based.

The MVCN supports caregivers, families, clinicians and partners, offering two open caregiver-focused services. Additionally, the MVCN has a caregiver-categorized resource library and a master calendar of caregiver events. These programs and services are led by a dedicated team of military Veteran caregivers and phenomenal caregiver volunteers. They use their life experience to increase caregiver connection, engagement, knowledge, skills and hope.

The Red Cross MVCN Online Peer Support Community offers a secure, confidential space in which caregiver peers can connect. The Online Community features discussion groups, topics, chats, calls and webinars that offer a place to share experiences and practical information, as well as educational and training opportunities. Peers moderate the secure, custom, caregiver only online community. These sharing and learning opportunities are selected by and for military and Veteran caregivers, in partnership with experts in their fields.

The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network Peer Mentor Support Program gives caregivers the opportunity to connect with another caregiver. Other caregivers understand what it is like to care for a wounded, ill or injured loved one or friend. The Red Cross team of Peer Mentors are good listeners. They offer compassion, understanding and information through confidential, convenient, one-on-one connection. These services are via phone, chat, text or email.

Red Cross MVCN Peer Support Groups, led by trained caregiver facilitators, are conveniently available online or in the community. These peer support groups provide secure, confidential places for caregivers to gather, to share experiences, empathy, education and encouragement. Trusted Red Cross MVCN partners (non-profit organizations) also assist some of these groups. These partners may provide refreshments, transportation assistance and childcare.

Do you?

  • Provide care for a service member or veteran who may need assistance due to wounds, illness or injury?
  • Help a service member or veteran who struggles with stress, emotional issues, anger or depression?
  • Contribute to the care of a service member or veteran by taking them to medical appointments, managing medication or arranging any form of health care?
  • Feel responsible to care for a service member or veteran because they are your spouse, son/daughter, friend, sibling or other family member?
  • Feel alone or isolated because no one around you does the same thing or seems to understand?

For those who answered yes, connect with the American Red Cross. Caregivers can receive helpful resources and connect with other caregivers who can offer support.

For more information, go to https://milvetcaregivernetwork.org.

 

Melissa Comeau is the proud spouse and caregiver of a United States Marine and serves as Director of the American Red Cross Military and Caregiver Network.

Melissa Comeau is a Marine spouse and caregiver. She is also the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network director.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Thomas Dullaghan    

    The VA was given a directive from congress to have the new caregivers system, which added the pre 9/11 vets to there program by Oct. 2019. The VA by it’s actions, showed congress and all Vet’s, they didn’t find it a order to put there best efforts to make this happen by the dead line!

  2. Joh D. Imhof    

    I am in a reverse caregiving situation. I am a 93 year old US Army retired caregiver of a 94 years old wife who is in dementia.

    Is there any program for me?

  3. X-abian M. Jahi    

    Black military personnel, of all branches, are killed with impunity. I possibly only made it out alive after exposing the military’s disparate treatment, since I contacted Congressional Reps. The last vestiges of plantationomics is on military bases; mainly naval. See: Protect Our Defenders. Invisible Wars. I was Wrongfully Discharged from the navy with a perfect “4.0” evaluation, with a Recommendation for Retention.” I’ve seen Only Black sailors escorted on the Portsmouth base in handcuffs by security, never non-Black personnel.

  4. charles Lightwalker    

    I am a Veterans Peer Corp Mentor, certified, and helping local veterans how do I bridge the gap with the Red Cross?

  5. Beatrice Echols    

    I am a caregiver of a Vietnam era Marine, along with our daughter, who helps us tremendously.

Comments are closed.