With new funding from USAA, Dr. Borah and her team will expand programming from the Veteran Spouse Network (VSN) that delivers a range of educational and peer support available to military veteran spouses nationwide. The VSN trains peer leaders to provide virtual peer support via Zoom, collaborating with organizations like Blue Star Families and other veteran-focused programs to recruit spouse peer leaders and members for participation. The project will train 20 veteran spouse peer leaders to conduct peer support group sessions covering diverse subjects. Peer leaders will receive Mental Health First Aid training and be encouraged to attend additional training on lethal means safety to enhance their crisis response skills. Additionally, suicide prevention and lethal means safety training and resources will be strengthened in existing VSN programs to ensure participants receive knowledge and skills to be prepared to support their veterans and their family members should a crisis arise.
This project includes extensive outreach efforts, collaborating with strategic partners to target regions with a high concentration of veteran spouses while also offering technical oversight to peer leaders. The project will gather participant feedback and other key performance indicators to inform program improvement and report to the project sponsor.