Innovations in Caring for the Invisible Wounds of War

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Last month, Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB) joined experts from medical, veteran, and military communities at a symposium on veterans’ mental health, hosted by The Center for a New American Security (CNAS). A diverse group of panelists, moderators, and attendees spent the day exploring innovative approaches to the treatment of invisible wounds; non-clinical methods of supporting veteran well-being; and launching, integrating, and sustaining networks of care.  

Terri Tanielian of RAND moderated a panel that explored innovations in non-clinical solutions to veteran support. Scott Jensen, Team RWB’s Chief Operations Officer, spoke about the value of our organization’s focus on providing peer-to-peer, local, consistent, and inclusive fitness and social programming. The panel also featured Sam Pressler of ASAP, Kenneth Falke of Boulder Crest, and Tara Galovski of WoVeN.

“Many of those who provide residential or highly focused short-term levels of treatment and care acknowledge that their clients will have a greater likelihood of sustained treatment success as they return to their local community if they have early knowledge of and can easily transition to programs like ours,” said Jensen. “Team RWB provides the local bridge for sustaining well-being during and following focused clinical treatment.”

The importance of and need for programs supporting family members and caregivers resonated throughout the day.  Team RWB’s inclusive model ensures that all are welcome and balances the needs of those who have served and also those who stand by, support, and care for those veterans. In many cases, family members and caregivers suffer from or are impacted by the same invisible wounds as their veteran.  They need encouragement and connection to their community. They desire a healthy lifestyle. As with their veterans, Team RWB serves as the antidote for the loneliness and isolation that so many face while living in their local communities.

None of us, clinical or non-clinical, can go it alone. We must integrate in order to provide holistic support to those who have served; the wounded, ill, and injured; family members; and caregivers across a broad continuum of needs and requirements.  

Partnering with organizations, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Cohen Veteran’s Network, Warrior Care Network, Marcus Brain Health Institute, and the Veterans Administration, allows Team RWB to provide inclusive and consistent local support to those who are transitioning from focused and clinically-based treatment. Those same partnerships arm our staff and volunteers with the information and connections they need to seamlessly refer our members in need of care to the appropriate programs offered by others.

To watch all the panel discussions from this symposium, visit cnas.org/live.

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