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American Red Cross Offering Free Class to Help Military Families Cope With the Stress of Deployments
Date:10/13/2008

Course Presently Available in Sixteen States and Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross today announced a new course. Coping With Deployments: Psychological First Aid for Military Families, is now available. The course, offered free of charge, is open to military family members of active duty, Reserve and National Guard forces, as well as veterans and their families. Presently, the course is offered in sixteen states (Ala., Ark., Calif., Colo., Fla., Hawaii, Ind., Minn., Neb., N.H., Ohio, Ore., Pa., Tenn., Texas, and W.Va.) and Washington, D.C. However, the Red Cross plans to make the course available across the country in the summer of 2009.

The Red Cross developed the course to address the stress and strain of deployments on military family members to include spouses, children, parents, siblings and significant others of servicemembers and veterans. The course is taught by actively licensed Red Cross mental health professionals. The Red Cross worked closely with subject matter experts from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, to include active duty, National Guard and Reserve commands, in development of the final curriculum.

"The American Red Cross is rooted in a proud tradition of providing support to servicemembers, veterans and their families for more than 100 years," said Sherri L. Brown, sr. vice president, Service to the Armed Forces. "From the front lines to the home front, the Red Cross will continue to help servicemembers and their families receive the services they need into the future. We are thankful that we can be there to help those who have served our nation."

The course provides significant information on resiliency strategies for adults and children. Resiliency is the process of how one quickly recovers from adversity or change. The course also explains the easy steps involved in psychological first aid which involves providing immediate support to people in distress. A significant resource and referral section in the course helps families identify resources that can provide additional assistance to them quickly. When taken as a single session, the course lasts four hours. It can also be divided into a module that focuses on adult issues which lasts two and a half-hours or a module focusing on children's issues which lasts one and a half-hours.

Interested families and individuals in the states presently offering the course can sign up to take the course at their local chapter, or they can call the local chapter to find out how to schedule a course for a military family group. Local chapters can be located by visiting http://www.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://www.redcrosschat.org.


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SOURCE American Red Cross
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