Team Red, White & Blue Research Details a Model for Improving Veteran Health

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Veterans who experience quality relationships based on physical and social activities have an easier transition to life after military service, according to a article published in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine. The article was spearheaded by Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), one of the nation’s leading veteran service organizations.

A team of researchers examined the framework for a novel social networking intervention for veterans, as well as how Team RWB implemented the model in programming across the country.

“Team RWB’s model is transformational in its approach to veteran health after transition,” said Dr. Caroline Angel, Research Director for Team RWB and lead author of the article. “Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. This publication is an important milestone for demonstrating the scientific foundation of this mission and the implications in our organization and beyond.”

Only 7% of the U.S. population has served in the military. Veterans are returning to a society that doesn’t understand their military experience and feels more unhappy, disconnected, and more misunderstood than ever. On the other side of the military-civilian divide, Americans’ sense of alienation has reached record high levels, according to the Harris Poll Alienation Index.

Team RWB counters the effects of isolation and misunderstanding by building a bridge and welcoming all community members to join together in support of a common goal. This bridge is part of the formula that builds wellbeing in veterans.

“There is a real need for effective programs to support positive reintegration experiences for veterans across the country. Team RWB is a powerful model of veterans finding solutions to help other veterans,” said Dr. David Goodrich, an expert in the dissemination and implementation of effective health care services in the Veterans Health Administration. “As a researcher and academic, I am blown away by the theoretical sophistication underlying Team RWB’s programming and mission. We can learn a lot about developing more veteran-centered programs from organizations like Team RWB.”

Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, Research (TBM) is an international peer-reviewed journal published by the Society of Behavioral Medicine. The Society of Behavioral Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and then applying that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

The full article can be accessed here.