Dear Friends,
 
Spring is finally here! But with the recent COVID-19 situation, spring comes with a different feeling than the one we anticipated months ago. We hope that you and your
family are doing well, and are healthy and safe. Our HomeFront Strong team is working from home, and is still available to support
you.
Our team is committed to ensuring that spouses and significant others of service members and veterans are supported as much as possible. HomeFront Strong is up and going strong during this time at home. For those of you who have already completed the program, your web access remains available for the online program components. If you are waiting for an in-person group but would like to switch to the web-based program, please contact us. For those of you thinking about joining HomeFront Strong, our website program is open to new participants now, or you can sign up for a future in-person group. Please contact us for more information. 
 
A resiliency program like HomeFront Strong can be helpful when times are quiet, and also if times become more chaotic. You might not need the skills you have learned in this program every day. However, once these skills are learned, they are there for you and can help you weather any storms. 

If you need support right now in any of the ways mentioned above, such as accessing your online HomeFront Strong account, finding information about an in-person group or moving to the web based program, please email our program manager, Jennifer Lamb, at lambjm@med.umich.edu

  
Warmly,
 
The HomeFront Strong Team
Skills Reminder: Guided Imagery
HomeFront Strong teaches different grounding strategies to help you stay focused and present in the moment. These strategies can be helpful during times of stress, or even when life is going smoothly.
 
One of the grounding strategies that you might remember is Guided Imagery. Guided Imagery is a way to use your five senses to focus on an image or a moment. Even now when you might be at home or otherwise social distancing, you can use a technique like Guided Imagery to go on a “mini relax-ation" in your mind.  
An easy way to practice Guided Imagery is to look at a picture of a place that may or may not be familiar to you. Concentrate on the picture. Imagine being in that place. What sounds do you hear there? Is it warm or cold? What does the air feel like? What does the air smell like? What do you see just outside of the frame of that picture? Is there a taste that comes to mind when you see the picture? Sit with those feelings for a few minutes, and practice taking in a few deep breaths.
 
Guided Imagery is a portable grounding strategy that you can use whenever and wherever you need. Just look for an image, and imagine yourself in that place. Guided Imagery can help you center and focus, be in the moment, and slow down your thoughts. 
Where in the Mitten?
Where We've Been: We’ve been busy! Even though we have not been traveling as much this quarter, we have participated in many online outreach programs, coffee hours, and town halls. You might be interested in joining some of these virtual meetings as well. The COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CSMI) updates available meetings often. If you are interested in joining, click here , for a current list of events.

Where We're Going: As soon as we are able, we look forward to joining community outreach and activities in person!
If you have an upcoming virtual event, let us know how we can contribute. You might also be planning future military or veteran events, FRG meetings, or resource fairs and are looking for information about programs that support spouses and families. Reach out to us and see how we can participate at your next event. Email Ali at thalison@med.umich.edu or HomeFrontStrong@umich.edu
Resource Corner
With each newsletter we highlight a few
resources that can reduce barriers for military and veteran families. The below resources specifically address current COVID-19 concerns.

  • University of Michigan compiled a comprehensive list of potential resources in the Michigan COVID-19 Resource Guide, please click here.

  • Unfortunately, many people have lost their job, have been furloughed, or otherwise qualify for Michigan Unemployment. If you are looking for information on this resource, please click here.
  • If you or your family are looking for resources for food, cash, internet, or housing relief, click here.

  • The MVAA COVID-19 website posts up to date information and resources for veterans here.  
Mobile Apps
There are so many apps out there for smartphone users that it's hard to know which ones are helpful. Our team has spent some time recently reviewing different apps and these are some of our favorites. Check them out and let us know what you think!

  • "SLINK: Spouse Link" MilitarySpouse Magazine created this app as a matching and chat tool designed to help military spouses create connections in civilian life. (Free; iOS and Android)

  • Happify: Designed with input from 18 health and happiness experts. Happify's positive mood-training program is approved by the American Psychologist Association. This app allows users to unlock new content every few days and provides the users with the opportunity to: record what they are grateful for; read articles about good things happening in the world; and engage in activities to learn various skills. Additional information can be found at their website. (Free; iOS)

  • Breathe2Relax: Created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, this app encourages users to develop breathing techniques as a way to manage stress. Features include educational videos on the stress response, logs to record stress levels, and customizable guided breathing sessions. (Free; iOS and Android)
Join Us!
Do you know another military or veteran family who could benefit from HomeFront Strong? We are currently enrolling individuals who can self-select into the online program or into a group at a later date! Contact Ali at thalison@med.umich.edu or email HomeFrontStrong@umich.edu to find out more.
Are you following us on Facebook?
 Make sure to follow our page to see regular posts and helpful info about military life!
HomeFront Strong is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) , a collection of military mental health programs within the University of Michigan Depression Center .
HomeFront Strong
2025 Traverwood Dr., Suite C | Ann Arbor | MI | 48105