Additional trainings created for SBHP providers

A nationally-recognized initiative created by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI) and others has expanded training opportunities for civilian behavioral health providers.

Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) now offers sustainment training for providers who have completed SBHP Tier Two training. The initiative was created by MFRI, the Center for Deployment Psychology, the Indiana National Guard and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration in 2010. SBHP trains civilian behavioral health professionals about military-specific issues. It also helps military and veteran families find SBHP providers through an online registry that MFRI maintains and manages.

Providers wanting to increase their knowledge about service members, veterans and their families can sequentially complete three training tiers, each targeting specific areas of military culture and evidence-based psychotherapies. Providers that complete Tier Two training now can add sustainment training to their portfolio.

“Sustainment training was added to continue provider education,” said Christy Collette, MFRI outreach specialist. “Unlike prerequisite trainings, this covers additional topics, such as military sexual trauma. It also offers continuing education units.”

An award-winning initiative, SBHP is now active in nine states. The collaboration was the model for federal legislation that increased civilian behavioral healthcare support for military and veteran families.

The first sustainment trainings will take place Nov. 14-15 in at the American Red Cross of Indiana, 1212 E. California Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

To learn more about SBHP and sustainment training, visit or contact Collette at

Join the conversation by following MFRI on Facebook and Twitter @MFRIPurdue.

About MFRI

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This internationally-recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Battlemind to Home Summit a resounding success

Nearly 300 behavioral health, legal and service providers gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday to increase their knowledge and strengthen community supports for veterans, service members and their families.

Battlemind to Home Summit is one of the most engaging military and veteran health summits in the state. The summit is hosted by the Military Family Research Institute, in partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical CenterIndiana National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Its purpose is to increase community awareness about the challenges and opportunities that are unique to military and veteran families. Ever expanding, this year’s featured content addressed legal needs for the first time. It also addressed physical and mental health concerns, and offered information about creating and increasing sense of community for military personnel.

In one breakout session, attendees learned ways to engage veterans as community assets. Another session focused on increasing community awareness about families and caregivers of veterans. Finally, another breakout presented suicide gatekeeper training to help attendees understandi how to “Question, persuade, and refer” an at-risk individual. Judge Dave Certo and the Indiana State Bar Association presented a mock veterans treatment court to educate attendees about diversion court benefits, and Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Stube (Ret.) presented a powerful afternoon keynote detailing his lessons learned from the battlefield.

Next year, Battlemind to Home Summit turns 10, and MFRI looks forward to hosting the summit at Purdue University. The event temporarily leaves Indianapolis to enable more service providers through the state to attend. To be notified about Battlemind to Home Summit 2019 programming and registration, complete this form. You can also find information about Battlemind on social media by following MFRI on Twitter using #battlemindIN, and “liking” MFRI on Facebook.

Battlemind to Home Summit registration closed

Registration for Battlemind to Home Summit (Battlemind) closed Aug. 22 due to overwhelming participant demand.

It is the first time registration has closed nearly two months before the event.

“We are excited to have a completely full Battlemind to Home Summit this year,” said Christy Collette, outreach specialist for MFRI. “Reaching our goal means providing education about military and veteran families to as many Indiana professionals as we can.”

Battlemind is one of the most engaging military and veteran health summits in the state and will be held Oct. 9 in Indianapolis. The summit is hosted by the Military Family Research Institute, in partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical CenterIndiana National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Getting the information presented at Battlemind into the communities of each participant is key,” said Collette. “We can do this at a higher rate based on the interest level this year.”

To be notified about Battlemind to Home Summit 2019 programming and registration, complete this form. You can also find information about Battlemind on social media by following MFRI on Twitter using #battlemindIN, and “liking” MFRI on Facebook.

For questions or inquires contact Collette at

MFRI report reveals details about lives of service members, veterans and their families

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University and the Purdue Center for Regional Development unveiled a ground-breaking report, “Measuring Our Communities: The State of Veteran and Military Families in the United States” on May 14.

The report unveils rich and specific data on the state of military-connected individuals across the country, focusing on topics such as employment, education, mental health and legal needs.

The event also highlighted an exceptional online data tool created by MFRI and the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) called Measuring Communities. The tool allows service providers and professionals nationwide to make data-driven decisions when it comes to serving the unique needs of service members, veterans and their families by providing localized data.

The Measuring Communities tool, already used by more than 60 organizations, enables real-time data analysis across a range of issues offering rich and nuanced data points about military-connected individuals in the communities in which they live.

Those who wish to utilize the tool can register for access by visiting,

JCFI: Collaborating to serve military, veteran families

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) and is committed to working with other organizations to better serve military members, veterans and their families. One of these partnerships is Joining Community Forces Indiana (JCFI).

JCFI is a collaboration among MFRI, the Indiana National Guard, and the national and state Departments of Veterans Affairs. JCFI educates nongovernmental organizations, departments of state government, corporations, policy makers, and local leaders, and works to build and maintain robust working relationships among Indiana communities.

For example, JCFI works with the Indiana judiciary, prosecutors, public defenders and communities to support veterans treatment courts (VTCs). VTCs are problem-solving courts that aim to help veterans with mental health or substance abuse issues and who face nonviolent criminal charges. There are more than 300 VTCs nationwide. The goal is to keep veterans with mental health or substance abuse issues out of the traditional justice system. The courts give these veterans treatment and tools for coping with their problems, and delay sentencing based on their success in treatment. Those who choose to participate receive mentoring and access to a wide variety of resources, including health and legal services.

Each VTC is part of its community’s justice system and often partners with local VAs and veterans’ organizations. That’s why JCFI is involved. JCFI helps support VTCs by educating community organizations and statewide leaders about the importance of the program.

Student opportunities grow experience, knowledge

Are you thinking about a unique, challenging internship experience that offers an array of hands-on opportunities, college credit and a rewarding experience? MFRI is accepting interns for the upcoming spring semester within the External Relations, Family Support and Research teams. Internships are open to qualified Purdue students, especially those who are interested in serving military-connected families.

Students majoring in communication, human development and family studies and hospitality and tourism management majors are strongly encouraged to apply. An internship in External Relations internship provides a part-time, for-credit opportunity for undergraduate or graduate students in the Brian Lamb School of Communication, offering tailored communication experiences. Students will gain experience on social media and video production, web and print content creation, event management and copyediting. It is an excellent stepping stone for those seeking a career in public relations, event management, marketing or communications. For more information, contact Linda Hughes-Kirchubel.

If you’re seeking research-focused experience, consider applying for an internship assisting with the Family Journeys Study through HDFS 390/590. This course provides an opportunity for students to code tasks performed by the family members during interviews. Email Keisha Bailey or Christine McCall for more information.

The Family Support Team will be offering one full-time, 12-credit undergraduate internship through the Human Development and Family Studies program. The intern in this position will work with the Measuring Communities project and help collect important data to distribute to communities. While this internship is already filled for the spring semester, contact Kathy Broniarczyk for more information if interested in this opportunity for future semesters.

Stand Down provides thanks, support for veterans

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is pleased to announce the awarding of 11 community mobilization grants to organizations and family support groups across Indiana.

Organizations will use the grants to target issues such as homelessness, financial readiness and career support.

“Our goal is that these grants will help improve the quality of life and community supports for service members, veterans and their families,” said Martina Sternberg, director of community outreach at MFRI. “Applicants submitted impressive, quality proposals, which judges then scored. Our recipients received up to $2,500 each, but the amount varied.”

In 2015, MFRI awarded 25 grants ranging from $500-$2,500. These funds served more than 2,500 military-affiliated families in Indiana. Some of the proposals funded:

  • programming about financial literacy;
  • leadership training;
  • employment readiness; and
  • homeless and at-risk families.

Below is the award list of organizations and family support groups across Indiana.

MFRI director visits The Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The director of the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) on Monday testified before Congress, at a hearing called by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs’ subcommittee on health.

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D.,  who heads MFRI and Purdue’s Center for Families, gave testimony regarding Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collaborations with faith-based organizations. The hearing focused on the need for greater community support of returning veterans, especially OIF/OEF veterans seeking mental health care who often opt for non-VA programs.

MacDermid Wadsworth testified on a panel of experts alongside:

  • Chaplain John J. Morris, Joint Force Headquarters Chaplain Minnesota National Guard;
  • M. David Rudd, Ph.D. ABPP, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Scientific and director of the National Center for Veteran Studies University of Utah; and
  • George Ake, III, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical psychology, Duke University and American Psychological Association.

During her remarks, MacDermid Wadsworth pointed out MFRI-VA partnerships in the areas of homelessness, higher education, vocational rehabilitation, behavioral health care, outreach to community partners, and research.

“Based on these experiences, I know that successful collaborations are possible, can benefit military and veteran families significantly, and can contribute substantively to the VA mission,” she said. “I identify several keys to success in my written statement, but will focus my remarks here on challenges and opportunities that might benefit from policy or legislative attention.”

Challenges and opportunities MacDermid Wadsworth identified included:

  • creating “clear points of entry for prospective collaborators ‘along multiple VA tracks;
  • wwweloping “mechanisms to separate the ‘wheat’ from the ‘chaff’ among prospective partners”;
  • reducing “structural barriers to collaboration”; and
  • providing “tangible incentives and benefit to community and VA partners who collaborate effectively.”