American Red Cross Reconnection Workshops
The Red Cross offers a series of five different workshops designed for service members, veterans, and their families along with two modules designed for children. Each workshop is facilitated by trained mental health providers and are approximately 1.5 hours in length. The Reconnection Workshops are confidential small-group modules, led by licensed mental health professionals. They focus on building skills that enhance the likelihood of positive reconnections among family members, as well as the successful reengagement of the service member in civilian life, by increasing interactions and developing additional sources of support.
The workshops are free and available to all those impacted by a military deployment from all branches of the Armed Forces, which includes Reserve, National Guard, active duty service members, veterans and their families, including spouses, parents, siblings, significant others and close friends.
Workshops and materials focus on learning useful tools, effective coping mechanisms and where to find resources. Available workshops for adults are:
- Communicating Clearly: Often, families find themselves feeling like strangers after months of separation. The means of communication at home are often different than those used during deployment. This module helps participants improve their communication skills to better manage the post-deployment period.
- Exploring stress and trauma: This module is designed to help returning service members and their families recognize and manage post deployment stress and other war related concerns, including trauma issues. Left unaddressed, stress and trauma could lead to a variety of negative outcomes for the returning service member and his or her family.
- Identifying depression: This module is designed to help participants recognize and manage those behaviors, thoughts and feelings that could be signs or symptoms of depression. Feeling depressed is a fairly common experience. Depression is often seen in conjunction with PTSD, TBI and other disorders. This module will help participants identify problematic symptoms, find ways to address and/or manage them, and figure out when to make a referral or seek additional help.
- Relating to children: This module helps the participants build on their personal strengths and increase their ability to address the issues of children’s adjustment to the return of a military family member following deployment. Information about developmental issues and family dynamics are provided in a variety of activities designed to help adults reconnect with children.
- Working through anger: This module addresses the anger that can occur when couples, families and other relatives and friends are reunited after a military deployment. Anger is a common feeling after deployment and is a natural human response. This module offers options for how to respond when one is faced with emotionally intense situations and events.
Two workshops were developed for the military child that focus on learning effective ways of problem solving and communication. These workshops have been developed to be delivered to children or teens. Available workshops are:
- Roger That! Communication Counts Ages 7-12 or 12-17: Focuses on the importance of developing quality interpersonal communication and listening skills.
- Operation 10-4 Confident Coping Ages 7-12 or 12-17: Focuses on bolstering strengths present in older military children to help manage stressful situation
For more information, visit: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/military-families/deployment-services/register-reconnection-workshops or in the National Capital Region contact: Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org or (571) 233-3332.