M-SPAN launching new program for Post-9/11 women veterans

This fall, the University of Michigan Depression Center’s Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) is launching After Her Service, a new resiliency skills and professional development program for Post-9/11 women veterans.after-her-service

Very few programs currently exist which are specifically designed for women veterans. In 2016, the M-SPAN team initiated a needs assessment to identify the key concerns shared by for Post-9/11 women veterans. These included challenges in reintegrating into civilian life, setting and meeting professional goals, and developing effective ways to cope and manage stress. After Her Service was created to address these concerns.

The program begins with a skill-building retreat focused on building optimism and positive coping, reducing stress and social isolation, challenging negative thinking, and practicing new approaches to self-care. Following the retreat, participants engage in 6 months of professional, one-on-one coaching to identify the gap between where participants are and where they want to be, set personal and career goals, and learn strategies to overcome obstacles. Recruitment will begin in fall 2017, and the first weekend retreat is scheduled for early December in New Orleans, LA.

M-SPAN is partnering with two outstanding organizations on this project: The Mission Continues, a national organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact, will assist with national recruitment; and Stand Beside Them, a non-profit coaching organization that provides services to veterans, will conduct the one-on-one coaching component of the program.

M-SPAN is dedicated to military and veteran mental health and wellness. After Her Service is its fifth and newest initiative, joining M-SPAN’s other offerings for service members and veterans, Buddy-to-Buddy and Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), as well as its programs for military families, Strong Military Families and HomeFront Strong.  After Her Service is funded by a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

Contact the program at afterherservice@umich.org to learn more.