RENO — The American Red Cross of Northern Nevada is seeking mental health professionals as volunteers to join its Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Resiliency Workshop Program.

“Our Resiliency Workshops help active military and their families cope with many issues that come with deployment, separation, living in a new community, and the stress associated with having a parent, spouse or family member serving in the armed forces,” explained Mary Powell, executive director of the Northern Nevada chapter.

“As a veteran myself, I can attest to the importance of having this type of support whether you’re getting ready to deploy or returning from a tour of duty.” Powell was deployed to Pakistan in 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The workshops enable our active military and their families to enlist the resources of the SAF program and benefit from receiving the support of other participants who are experiencing similar issues. Since the Red Cross was created, the organization has been helping veterans,” she added.

The Resiliency Workshops are free to participants. Powell stressed that the need for mental health professionals who can conduct a workshop is great. 

“While most of our volunteers come from all walks of life,” Powell said, “the Red Cross organization requires that volunteers who lead SAF Resiliency Workshops must be a certified mental health professional.”

Anyone interested in becoming a workshop facilitator must complete an application and an online training class before beginning their volunteer duties.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer Resiliency Workshop facilitator, contact BrookeLynn Elder at 702- 306-6048 or Brooke.elder2@redcross.org.

To sign-up to participate in a workshop, call the Northern Nevada Chapter in Reno at 775-856-1000 or visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/deployment-services/register-reconnection-workshops.html

Due to Covid-19, all resiliency workshops are held on-line. The following is a list of the resiliency workshops currently being offered by the SAF program:



Effective 

Communication

• Teaches the skills needed to achieve effective communication styles through non-verbals, seeking clarification, self-reflection,” I” statements and other activities.



Stress Solutions

• Teaches stress management through learning the signs of stress, practicing relaxation techniques, discussing sleep issues, learning to help others, and changing the way you think about stress.



Connecting with Kids

• Teaches common reactions to stress in children, provide practical ways adults can help children cope and offers information on when and how to seek professional support.

Caregivers of Wounded, Ill and Injured Service Members and Veterans

• Provides caregivers with ways to reduce isolation, incorporate new identities and build personal wellness plans to achieve a healthy lifestyle and reduce stress.



Creating Calmness

• Helps individuals deal with stress and isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 



About the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Program

The Red Cross helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service. SAF volunteers provide comfort and critical services in support of military families during deployments and emergencies. In addition, volunteers continue serving our nation’s veterans after their service ends. SAF volunteers in the Northern Nevada Chapter see 10-12 cases per week, providing services such as communications to and from soldiers and their families, veterans housing, resiliency workshops and information about VA death benefits, among other services.