Since July 2017, one in four families served by MCH Family Outreach in Killeen have been families with members who are active duty or veterans with many others having some connection to the military. Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the United States, is located in Killeen which translates into a high active-duty and veteran population in the city and surrounding communities.
Violet Read, director of MCH Family Outreach in Killeen, said for these reasons, they felt it was important to form a partnership with the Texas Veterans Commission and offer to host a military culture training in their community. The training was held at First United Methodist Church of Killeen on Dec. 8.
“MCH Family Outreach is one of several civilian entities that work with military families,” Read said. “We wanted to extend this opportunity to other providers who might also benefit from knowledge about military culture and increase their sensitivity toward the unique challenges this population experiences. Additionally, we hope to improve collaboration between military and civilian service providers to better meet families’ needs.”
Aubrie Wade, provider coordinator for the Veterans’ Mental Health Program with Texas Veterans Commission, facilitated the training. Read and Wade connected after a State of the Veteran Family Symposium at the University of Texas in June 2017.
Around 50 individuals attended the recent training including psychologists, therapist, medical personnel, mental health professionals from Fort Hood as well as clergy, local veterans and civilian service providers.
“Military trainings and symposiums are a great platform for individuals to ask questions about frequently used terminology and systems,” Read said. “These professional platforms have been the vessel through which I have learned that service men and women are simply individuals who have endured trauma and whose careers deeply impact their families. These are the families Methodist Children’s Home serves every day. It was great to see military and civilian service providers coming together to discuss how both sides can provide support to military families.”
Shelia Brown of Goodwill Learning Center attended the training to learn more about military families.
“I work with veterans one-on-one so I want to get as much training as I can to gather information,” Brown said. “I’m also a spouse of a veteran so I can connect in some ways but there are some ways I can’t. Any training helps, even if it is just learning about resources available and being able to connect them with the right resources.”
The training provided information about the composition of the military, historical information about veterans groups, forms of trauma those in the service may endure and resources available to veterans and their families.
“We understand that most men and women serving in the military experience trauma during their service, often in addition to traumas endured prior to beginning their military career,” Read said. “In addition to trauma, military families experience ruptures in family roles and relationships and their communities which creates a unique set of challenges for families. As a provider who desires to provide quality services to these families, we hope to stay abreast of knowledge that will enhance our work in this community.”
|MCH Family Outreach in Killeen staff members Sara Elliott, case manager, |
and Violet Read, director, welcomed participants to the military culture training.
|Aubrie Wade of the Texas Veterans Commission was the presenter for the training.|
|MCH Family Outreach in Killeen provided information on our services available in the community.|
|Participants were encouraged to ask questions and share their own knowledge during the training.|