Time is running out to register for Battlemind to Home

More than 200 community leaders, behavioral health providers and community members are expected to gather at the upcoming Battlemind to Home Mental Health Summit, which aims to help improve knowledge about military and veteran families and connect systems that best support them.

Held in partnership with the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, the Indiana National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the event attracts participants from 100 organizations from across the state and region. This year it will be held Sept. 12 at the Indianapolis Marriott East in Indianapolis with sessions that focus on topics such as family reunification, mental and physical health and building supportive communities.

Time is running out to register for this educationally-rich experience, and space is limited, so register soon. Attendees receive breakfast, lunch, all symposium materials, and continuing education credits (CEUs) for their participation. 

“We know from participant feedback that Battlemind to Home builds knowledge and creates relationships among communities that work with veterans and their families,” said Christy Collette, Outreach Specialist for MFRI. “This year’s program will continue to be focused on expanding knowledge and increasing supports, so that our communities are strong and vibrant places where veterans can thrive.”

Battlemind helps participants become more aware of veterans’ needs, while motivating them to make changes to serve them better.

“I have become more aware of our society's past and current failures to meet the needs of veterans whose lives are so disrupted by PTSD, and I have been challenged to consider being an advocate to help overcome these,” said one 2016 Battlemind attendee. “I have a personal and professional responsibility to know where services exist and how one can access them; and I should do everything I can to inform veterans within my sphere of influence of the services they may need.”

Another attendee said the event was “interesting and sobering, with great application to my work.”

This is the eighth offering of Battlemind, and the event has wwweloped a strong reputation for helping community partners gain greater appreciation and understanding of the challenges facing returning combat veterans and their families. Community interest in joint collaborations for further enhancing care for veterans has spiked from the awareness raised in the past seven offerings of the symposium.

Thanks to the generous support of community-minded organizations, we are able to offer the registration fee for this year’s event to $50 per attendee.

Use #b2h17 to join the conversation, and follow @MFRIPurdue on Twitter and Facebook.

Registration for Battlemind to Home Mental Health Summit is limited, so sign up soon. If you have any questions, please contact: MFRI Outreach Specialist Christy Collette at flynn14@purdue.edu.


Happy birthday, Coast Guard!

The Coast Guard was founded on Aug. 4, 1790, when America's Congress authorized the building of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue.

Help celebrate this special day by educating others about about America's first and smallest service. Here are some fun facts you can share:

  • More than 41,700 active-duty military; 7,800 reserve military part-time employees; 8,300 civilian full-time employees; and 31,000 civilian auxiliary volunteers serve in the Coast Guard.
  • Since 2003, the service has operated as part of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • During World War II, 241,093 Coast Guard members served.
  • The service's core values are honor, respect and wwwotion to duty.
  • Alex Haley, who wrote the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Roots,“ was the Coast Guard’s first journalist.
  • The Coast Guard has a special FAQ to help answer Coast Guard families' questions.
  • Admiral Paul F. Zukunft is the current Top Commandant of the service.
  • The Coast Guard motto is "Sempar Paratus" – "Always Ready."
  • President George Washington commissioned the first Coast Guard officer, Captain Hopley Yeaton, on March 21, 1791.


Military spouses sought to participate in research

Colorado State University Doctoral Candidate Heather Chadwick and colleagues are seeking research participants for a study on the lived educational experiences of military spouses who are pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Called "A Qualitative Study on the Nontraditional Undergraduate Experiences of Military Spouses," the study asks participants to complete a brief demographic survey and participate in a 1 hour audio-recorded interview to discuss experiences as a military spouse pursuing an undergraduate degree. The interview will take place at a time and location that is convenient and comfortable to each participant.

Investigators are also asking participants to complete an activity after the initial data analysis is completed. The activity is called member checking, and involves participants' reviewing the transcript to ensure its accuracy. This activity will involve no more than 1 additional hour. 

Participation in this research is voluntary. Anyone taking part in the study may withdraw consent and stop at any time without penalty.  Each participant will be compensated with a $10.00 Wal-mart gift card. Researchers will not collect names or personal identifiers of anyone agreeing to take part.

If you would like to join the study, or have any questions about the research, please contact Heather Chadwick at 714-423-8595, heatherleechadwick@gmail.com, or Dr. Linda Kuk Linda.Kuk@colostate.edu.



National Focus Forward Fellowship kicks off in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI), partnering with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Got Your 6, today kicked off the second cohort of this summer’s Focus Forward Fellowship.

Fellows are competitively selected and attend this program on scholarship. It is designed to build skills, leadership and a sense of community among women student veterans and other military-connected women. The national cohort, supported by a grant from Got Your 6, begins with the residency portion and is followed by web-based activities scheduled throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. 

MFRI created the Fellowship last year to engage and educate top-notch women veterans enrolled in higher education institutions. 2017's first cohort took place June 7-11 on the campus of Colorado State University (CSU), with 11 women attending.

In Indianapolis, women with diverse backgrounds and professional experiences came from 14 colleges and universities in across the nation, representing the all branches of the military.

“Our Fellows have shared with us that this is a transformative program for them,” said Lauren Runco, director of education and employment at MFRI. “I can’t wait to see how this year’s Fellows continue to grow and change as they explore new topics and build a community of support.”

Research participants sought

Researchers at Northumbria University are currently recruiting partners (married or cohabiting) of deployed service members to take part in a study exploring their experiences with stress, social support and ill health.This project has received ethical approval from the Postgraduate Psychology Ethics Committee, Northumbria University.

The project, called "The effect of social support on emotional and physical outcomes in civilian of deployed service members" aims to assess whether socially supported partners of deployed service members might be less vulnerable to feelings of stress and health complaints. 

Please note: You need to be over 18 years old to take part, and you must be the partner (married or cohabiting) of a deployed service member (e.g. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy). You are not eligible to take part if you have any long term physical illnesses/disabilities and/or mental health conditions.

Access the study here and for more information, please contact Researcher Rosie Locke, rosie.r.locke@northumbria.ac.uk or Supervisor Brian Lovell, brian.lovell@northumbria.ac.uk. For ethics approval (including concerns or complaints), contact hl.pgethics@northumbria.ac.uk.


MFRI to take part in Bush Center "Stand-To"

MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth heads to Washington, D.C. Friday to take part in an event aimed to create better supports for veterans and their families.

The Bush Institute is convening more than 70 organizations for an event called Stand-To, a military term for a call to action: to prepare, equip with resources, receive orders, and move forward in a unified approach.

Since January, three Bush Institute-led veteran task force groups have focused on education, employment, and health and wellbeing – the three issues that research shows are key to a successful transition.

MacDermid Wadsworth, represending MFRI, is part of a task force made up of representatives from the business, non-profit, government and academic sectors. She and others will present their recommendations and offering an opportunity to find solutions and a unified common vision to improve veteran outcomes during a new administration and the road ahead.

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army

Happy birthday to the U.S. Army!

Army traditions of “duty, honor, country” date back to the minutemen.  As the war between the colonies and Great Britain escalated, Congress formally established the Continental Army by nationalizing the colonial militias deployed around Boston and New York.

Founded on June 14, 1775, its first Commander-in-Chief was General George Washington.

MFRI joins a grateful nation as the U.S. Army celebrates its 242nd birthday today. We thank all – including those who have served, or serve currently – and their famiiles. Join the celebration by learning more about this institution – and take time to thank an Army veteran, service member or family member today.

In honor of military spouses

May 12 is National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, a day to honor and celebrate those who support our troops during deployments, temporary duty assignments and the day-to-day responsibilities associated with military service.

Of the more than 1.1 million military spouses, an overwhelming majority are women (93% active duty, 87% reserves component). The Department of Defense reports that as a group, they are twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to finish high school. More than 50 percent have completed some form of higher education. And 12 percent also serve.

Beyond the numbers, research indicates that deployment, frequent moves and overarching characteristics of military employment shape the relationships between spouses and service members. That’s why we invite you to join us in thanking the nation’s military spouses. Explore our How to Help issues to see how you can make a difference in the lives of the silent heroes – not just on May 12, but on every day of the year.

Support research for military, veteran families on Purdue Day of Giving

Your gift to MFRI will help sustain the work we do on behalf of military and veteran families. And it will be matched, dollar for dollar, thanks to a generous contribution from the Department of Human wwwelopment and Family Studies, the College of Health and Human Sciences and the Office of the Provost. 

To give, navigate to Purdue Day of Giving and select "College of Health & Human Sciences" in the Participant Box. Then:

  • Select “Military Family Research Institute Endowed Fund” in the Fund Name Box.
  • Fill in Gift Amount.
  • Complete “Your Information”, “Additional Questions” and “Payment Details” sections.
  • Click on "Submit."

Thank you again for your support!

Focus Forward Fellowship CO deadline draws near

The deadline is approaching to apply for the Focus Forward Fellowship, a program designed by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University to build skills, leadership and a sense of community among women who are student veterans or otherwise military-connected students.

This is the second year of the Fellowship, which is open to rising sophomores, juniors, seniors and those seeking their master's degrees. Two Fellowship programs will take place. Both begin with a four-day residency program followed by engagement online during the 2017–2018 academic year. Colorado State University, located in Fort Collins, Colo., is sponsoring a June 7 cohort, which is open to military-connected women at Colorado schools. Got Your 6 is a sponsor of a July 26 cohort held in Indianapolis, which is open to military-connected women from schools across the nation.

The deadline to apply for the Colorado State program is Friday, April 28. 

“We are extremely grateful for Colorado State and Got Your 6 for partnering with us in our efforts to help women student veterans achieve their full potential as they pursue academic and career success,” said Lauren Runco, MFRI’s director of education and employment. “We encourage all eligible women to apply for what has been called a life-changing experience.”

Cost of travel, food, lodging, activities and materials is covered by MFRI and other sponsoring institutions. Applications will close soon. For more information, contact Director of Education and Employment Lauren Runco at lrunco@purdue.edu.