Purdue’s Military Family Research Institute to host Battlemind to Home Summit

Legal, mental health and community leaders will learn and share strategies to ease the transition from the battlefront to the home front for military personnel, veterans and their families during the 11th annual Battlemind to Home Summit on Oct. 27.

Hosted by the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University, the conference brings together a variety of experts to inform and educate Indiana professionals of the critical issues facing Indiana’s military families. A preconference will take place on Oct. 26. Both the preconference and the summit will be held virtually via the Whova conference app.

The Battlemind to Home Summit will feature keynote speakers Froma Walsh, a leader in the fields of family therapy and mental health and co-director and co-founder of the Chicago Center for Family Health, and Chad Robichaux, president and founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation. After overcoming his own personal battles with post-traumatic stress disorder and nearly becoming a veteran suicide statistic, Robichaux founded Mighty Oaks to serve military communities with one of the most effective faith-based combat trauma and resiliency programs available.

This year’s summit will address:

  • Issues regarding legal needs and support.
  • How to address physical and mental health concerns during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The tools needed to create a sense of community within civilian life for military personnel.
  • 500 word essay helps within the community of civilians to achieve A grade

Participants of the preconference can select from one of the following three sessions:

  • The Intersection of Substance Use and Suicide: Understanding the Connection
  • Veteran Homelessness Community Forum
  • An Overview of VA and Military Benefits for Elder Law Attorneys and VA Accredited Representatives (this session is exclusively for legal professionals)

Past summits have taken place in Indianapolis and on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus and have attracted hundreds of attendees and participants from more than 100 organizations in Indiana and nearby states.

More than 400,000 veterans call Indiana home. Those still serving include 5,258 who are in active duty, 13,202 in National Guards and 5,553 in the Reserves. As a percentage of population, Indiana military-related suicide rates are 28.00 for every 100,000 persons versus 20.8 for every 100,000 civilians.

Registration for the conference is $45. The preconference costs an additional $20. Continuing education credits and scholarships are available. Registration is now open.

MFRI, which is based at Purdue, organizes the summit each year in partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, the Indiana National Guard, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative and the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Organizers collaborate with the Indiana State Bar Association and Indiana Office of Court Services.

The term “battlemind” initially was used by military to talk about the inner strength needed to face adversity, fear and hardship during combat. The application of the term then was broadened to take in psychological resiliency both during and after deployment.

More information about the summit is available online, on the MFRI Facebook page or on Twitter using #battlemindIN.

Families Tackling Tough Times Together

Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) is pleased to launch Families Tackling Tough Times Together, a program to support families as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Guided by scientific evidence about family resilience, the “pop-up” program is being developed by HHS along with contributing partners from Purdue and beyond, with the aim of helping families strengthen their resilience while they cope with the crisis. Families are invited to join a public Facebook group where they will find materials and activities tied to a specific aspect of resilience. All materials are carefully vetted and include engaging and fun activities that fit easily into daily life. Families with children, youth, young adults and older adults will find materials tailored for them. Additional features include podcasts with experts, live events and community engagement activities. All are welcome; we especially welcome military families. 

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MFRI’s response to COVID-19

The safety and well-being of our staff and those we serve is an issue we take very seriously. MFRI is following the guidance from Purdue University about social distancing and the State of Indiana’s stay at home order.  We are paying close attention to updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We know that the current situation impacts our work and initiatives. We are working to assess each initiative and devise alternate (contingency) plans that allow us to carry on with our work supporting military and veteran families and those that support them. We thank you for your patience as we implement these plans. We encourage everyone to do your part to protect the health of others and continue to support each other and those you come in contact with.

For the most up-to-date news, view Purdue University’s COVID-19 website.

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