PsychArmor Institute has partnered closely with Elizabeth Dole Foundation and its Hidden Heroes campaign since its inception. Together, both groups strategized on ways to bring quality education to caregivers that could be delivered 24/7 to fit in their busy and often chaotic schedules. We are proud to announce that as a direct result of this collaboration we launching thirteen new free online courses for military and veteran caregivers and families. These courses are an integral part of the School for Military and Veteran Caregivers and Families sponsored by USAA, and strive to bring information, practical tools, and resources to the millions of people who bravely sacrifice so much to care for our nation’s wounded service members.
The new courses are highlighted by two educational series specifically for military and veteran caregivers. The first, titled “Invisible Wounds of War at Home,” is comprised of seven courses that help family members and caregivers understand the basics of PTSD, TBI, depression, and substance use disorder. — as well as how these wounds might manifest in the home. The courses include strategies for helping the veteran and the challenges caregivers face while caring for them. The courses are short, informative, and we hope they will provide answers, illumination, advice and resources for the caregivers of our service members with injuries we can’t see. The series is narrated by Dr. Heidi Squier Kraft, clinical psychologist and U.S. Navy and Iraq War veteran.
In addition, PsychArmor Institute is thrilled to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program to offer a series of five courses that offer practical tools, skills, and education for military caregivers. These courses, originally offered as audio courses on the program’s website, are now narrated and animated to provide an engaging and informative series of self-care and coping techniques that we hope will provide relief and comfort for our hidden heroes. They include such topics as the power of communication, accepting and reframing grief, understanding and coping with isolation, and the importance of carving out time for self-care. They include practical guided imagery and meditation exercises and even allow for written self-exploration. Each course has an accompanying handout which provides caregivers with important summary information.
Finally, PsychArmor Institute, Operation Family Caregiver and the VA Caregiver Support Program have joined forces to provide a course that explains “The ABC’s of Respite” for caregivers. Narrated by a respite expert and caregiver herself who teaches for Southern Caregivers along with the National Director of the VA Caregiver Support Program, the course provides practical education about different types of respite, options and logistics for caregivers when arranging respite, and specifics about respite for caregivers of military veterans. It is an extensive overview of material that will provide answers and further resources for caregivers of all types who might be considering finally asking for that much needed break of their own.