The DRC Military Peer Support Unit aspires to provide comprehensive support and assistance to our DRC military personnel and their families. To this end, our support unit will make every effort to meet the needs of the military member, assist them through deployments and the ensuing transition home and back into the workforce.
The DRC Military Peer Support Unit was developed by the DRC Critical Incident Stress Management Program in partnership with the State of Ohio Employee Assistance Program, Family Readiness Program, ESGR, military branch representatives and DRC employees who have served on deployments during their military career. The program offers the following core services to DRC military employees:
The Military Peer Support Program connects returning veterans with other veterans (peer members) who have walked down the same path and have experienced challenges following deployment. For some the transition following deployment is an easy one; for others it is more difficult. Military Peer Support is designed to supplement services already being provided by the military and the Veterans Administration. Members of the Military Peer Support Unit have a military background and work with service members to mitigate the challenges associated with the deployment experiences and the transition home.
As one service member stated, “Military life and deployment experience may be difficult and challenging for the soldier as well as their family. Through my own experiences I have come to realize that going home is not always as easy as one would think. After my first deployment in 1991, I had thought that re-entry into civilian life would be easy, like riding a bicycle. It was not. I wanted to go on with my life as if nothing had happened but that was not possible. Things had happened that had changed me. At that time I had no one to tell me that what I was experiencing was normal, and that I was not a freak.”
Post-deployment difficulties may not surface for months following integration back into civilian life. The goal of the Military Peer Support Unit is to make a connection with the service member and establish a long term supportive and trusting relationship. The purpose of establishing this relationship is to create a comfort level which will enable the service member to reach out for assistance and support if they are having difficulties. The existence of the common military experience aids in establishing this trusting relationship. The Military Peer Support Unit will provide support services to any employee with issues related to military service regardless of the length of time since the service.
The Military Peer Support Unit is comprised of representation all military service branches. The unit members receive training in peer support roles in addition to combat related issues such as, PTSD, TBI, trauma, transitional difficulties, depression, suicide intervention and resources.
The unit has assisted with issues as profound as PTSD and combat injuries as well as logistical issues related to deployment and employee return to work obstacles. Services of the Military Peer Support Unit may also be initiated through a request or upon recognition of a possible problem. The work of this group adheres to privileged communication as permitted by law.