Central California, November 10, 2021— This Veterans Day, November 11, 2021, the American Red Cross is honoring veterans and recognizing the special role that caregivers play in their care. Serving more than 8,200 caregivers worldwide, the Military Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) offers caregivers peer mentors, peer support groups, an online community as well as mental health, wellness, and resiliency workshops. The network seeks to decrease feelings of isolation, and increase feelings of connection, hope and well-being.
“Between COVID-19, international conflict and even the impact to communities and livelihoods from repeated natural disasters, mental health has been a struggle for so many of us in the military community,” said Jose Molina, Service to the Armed Forces Program Manager for the American Red Cross Central California Region. “Our caregivers are serving a vital role on the front lines of this battle, needing more support and resources now than ever.”
The MVCN provides caregivers the ability to connect in a confidential environment that’s best for them. Our peer mentor program helps meet the specific needs of caregiver’s one-on-one, while peer support groups connect caregivers facing similar challenges. We offer secure online caregiver only communities to create a supportive network that is accessible without having to leave home.
Here in Central California, veterans, and their caregivers report that the compounding effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, have created additional stressors.
In recent months, MVCN saw an increase in the use of our Hero Care Resource Directory, which provides access to over 800 resources in every zip code in America specifically designed for veterans, service members, caregivers, and their families.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Many Red Cross volunteers are veterans who continue to support their communities after their active-duty service ends. Also, about 6% of Red Cross employees include transitioning military or veterans – from nurses to logisticians, emergency management experts, project managers and preparedness experts, as well as a number of veterans in leadership roles at local Red Cross chapters across the country.
Tens of thousands of Red Cross volunteers also serve in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world. These volunteers support such areas as rehabilitation, recreation, administration, and personal services to the men and women who are now cared for each day in these facilities. To learn more about how you can give back in your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCCR.
# # #