Warrior Transition Workshops Improve Health and Social Behavior
AMVETS evaluating post deployment workshops for use by DOD and VA
Valley Forge, Pa. – April 29, 2014 – An innovative veterans workshop to assist former military and active duty personnel with their reintegration into civilian life produces significant improvements in four key health and behavioral areas, including sleep, anger, anxiety and social isolation, according to a preliminary study.
The AMVETS Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition Workshops provide reintegration training as a complementary alternative to prevailing mental health approaches. An evaluation of the program shows that participants scored “statistically significant” improvements in seven of eight areas of health assessment immediately following the 2- 1/2 day training. One month later, assessment scores in four key areas – sleep disturbance, anger, anxiety and social isolation – continued to show significant improvement. The evaluation was conducted by Freedom and Honor under the direction of the American Institutes for Research® (AIR).
“The results for this evaluation were impressive and speak to the need for a larger study of the Warrior Transition Workshops,” says Dr. San Keller, AIR’s principal scientist.
Data for the health assessments were collected using a National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative, PROMIS®. The Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System precisely measures health status for physical, mental and social well-being. Information gathered measures a person’s ability to fulfill complex social roles, ability to conduct normal activities and whether and how much they are suffering.
The peer-led, hands-on Warrior Transition Workshops provide high impact, cost effective training to achieve successful and healthy reintegration. The free workshops are open to veterans, active-duty, Guard and Reserve members to address Post Traumatic Stress and reintegration challenges. “Our unique style of training goes to the heart of what veterans naturally experience, and the study shows the positive impact of these veterans’ workshops,” says Martin Richardson, Freedom and Honor program manager.
AMVETS is committed to evaluating whether this model of warrior transition training should be integrated into the DOD and VA post deployment programs to expand existing services and provide alternatives. The full report can be found at www.amvets.org. The schedule of upcoming Warrior Transition Workshops can be found here: “Upcoming Workshops”
About Freedom and Honor: Founded in 2005 as the Return to Honor Workshop, Freedom and Honor has conducted more than 60,000 hours of training to more than 7,000 veterans. The workshops include men and women who represent all branches of service, including active duty, Reserve and Guard. Participants include those who have been back as little as two days and those who have been home for more than four decades. Freedom and Honor provides the Warrior Transition Workshop with AMVETS full support and active promotion. For more information visit www.freedomandhonor.org.
About AMVETS: A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. For more information visit www.amvets.org.