Operation Resilient Families (ORF)
Operation Resilient Families offers basic education and skill development around some of the issues most common to the post-deployment readjustment experience. It focuses primarily on utilizing personal and family strengths, resources, and resilience strategies to minimize negative consequences. It affords opportunity for participants to practice life skills of effective communication, goal-setting, and problem-solving, while also emphasizing the importance of intentional living to maximize personal and family appreciation, relaxation, and enjoyment.
In addition to group learning and skill-building exercises, ORF fosters the structured development of a personalized Family Resilience Plan. This process is designed to heighten each family's awareness of their own unique strengths and resources. It also will help them to identify specific strategies for building and maintaining family resilience, and for dealing with specific post-deployment challenges encountered in their own family.
Peer Education and Advocacy is Peers Empowering Peers. Peer support groups have proven to be beneficial for any number of shared experiences and can often generate an invaluable sense of empowerment and camaraderie among participants. When facing challenging times, many find that it's good to know one is not alone and that others have overcome similar challenges. As a peer support program, it is not designed to provide or replace professional mental health treatment or counseling. It is designed to offer the opportunity for families with similar experiences to learn, share, inspire, and support one another in a relaxed and confidential environment.
The value of Peer Facilitators is being able to "own" issues for the group and to share personal stories and examples. The role of a Peer Facilitator is to guide the group through an experiential learning process, foster the development of a natural support network, and to encourage participants to work together to learn and support one another, express their feelings, and interact on the discussion topics.
Objective: To strengthen resilience factors and strategies, such as:
- Normalizing reactions to war-zone deployment
- Building supportive relationships both within and outside the family
- Living with intention to manage stress, celebrate joy, and proactively address adversity
- Utilize effective planning, problem-solving, and communication skills
- Identifying and having confidence in one's family strengths, and as a family unit
- Focusing on the positive, having hope; knowing when and how to seek help when needed
- To share information about the common experiences of returning combat veterans and their families
- To explore resources and resiliency strategies periods of military deployment
- To foster a confidential community of mutual learning and support
- To teach self-advocacy skills
- To empower veterans and their families to overcome the common challenges which arise following