Greetings, and welcome to our quarterly newsletter for HomeFront Strong!

We wanted to let you know that HomeFront Strong is moving into the final stages of enrollment under our current funding from the Department of Defense. We will continue recruiting military and veteran spouses/partners into our online program through October 1st.

If you know of anyone interested in participating in HomeFront Strong, we invite you to share our information, including this newsletter and our email address: homefrontstrong@umich.edu. We are pursuing additional long-term funding and will keep you posted!

All the best, 
 
Jennifer Lamb, Program Manager
And the entire HomeFront Strong team
Dear Friends,

We hope this newsletter finds you and your families doing well! As summertime transitions into the fall, sunny days and late nights will be replaced by cooler temperatures and for many of us, a return to school.  

Our program will also have a transition in the next few months. For the last several years, we have offered HomeFront Strong to Michigan military and veteran families through funding from the Department of Defense. That funding will be ending soon.
We are actively working to secure longer term support, but want to encourage you to join the program now if you or someone you know is interested.

If you have been thinking about joining HomeFront Strong, there is still time to enroll! We are pleased to offer our program online during the pandemic and will continue enrollment through October 1st. If you, or someone you know, is interested in joining HomeFront Strong, please reach out to us! To learn more or to switch from the waitlist to the online format, contact us at homefrontstrong@umich.edu.

As always, our team at HomeFront Strong and M-SPAN continues to be devoted to supporting Michigan’s military and veteran spouses/significant others.

Warmly,
 
The HomeFront Strong Team
Skills Reminder:
Building Community
In HomeFront Strong, we talk about the importance of social support, friendships, and building our community. Take a moment and think about what kind of community and social connections you have in your life right now. Do you need additional support? Companionship? Practical help? Emotional support?  
If you have already completed HomeFront Strong, you will be familiar with the four categories of social support. You can review the information from Week 6 to reflect on what kinds of support you might need. If you are part of HomeFront Strong now, consider paying attention to how your support needs might have changed over the last six months and what you might need in the future. 

If you have any “job openings” in the support you need, here are a few ideas to build your community:
  • Try new experiences – even on Zoom!
  • Reach out to connect with an old friend
  • Take the time to nurture those relationships that are important to you
  • Think about what kind of friend you want to be to others, and what you are looking for in a friend
  • Make use of virtual options such as social media to connect with others
  • Be willing to take a chance! Even though it can be a bit intimidating at times, try reaching out to someone that you would like to get to know better!

Life has changed for many of us over the last several months, and along with those changes comes a risk of isolation and a loss of community. You are not alone! Fostering a strong community helps to foster resilience and provide support to get through stressful times. Check out our Facebook page to stay connected https://www.facebook.com/homefrontstrong/. Or connect with Blue Star Families for extra support https://www.facebook.com/BlueStarFamilies/.
Where in the Mitten?
We’ve been busy! Even though we have not been traveling, we have continued with online outreach programs, town halls, and coffee hours to connect with Michigan’s military and veteran families. We’ve also mailed almost 16,500 letters to veteran families, letting them know about HomeFront Strong. We are here for you! Please reach out to us by phone, email, or social media. 
Resource Corner
Check out these resources that might be helpful for military and veteran families:
  • Have you been attending any of the MVAA bi-weekly coffee hours? This hour long program provides resources for military/veteran families across the state of Michigan. Previous topics have included: resources for caregivers, resources for women veterans, career resources for veterans and veteran spouses, and much more. Click here for more information about past and future events: https://www.michiganveterans.com/p/COVID-19-Assistance-and-Resources#1
  • It’s time for many families to go back to school. Don’t forget to look into resources that can help your child and your family be successful this school year. The state of Michigan has compiled an entire site to provide resources for your family to include resources for math, social studies, art, English learners, Health Ed/PE and more. https://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-28753_65803---,00.html

  • Even older children can find benefits to help them start planning for their college careers. Is there a child in your home who received a parent’s Post-9/11 GI eligibility? It’s a good time to start learning the facts now. https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/app/answers/list/session/L3RpbWUvMTU3MTIxOTM4MS9zaWQvcWxoS0Vzcm8=
 
Virtual Resource Corner
There are so many apps out there for smartphone users that it’s hard to know which ones are helpful. Our team has spent months reviewing different apps and these are some of our favorites. We are not endorsing these apps specifically or recommending all aspects of every app. Rather, the following are just a couple apps that our team enjoyed. We hope you like these as much as we did; let us know what you think!

  • 3 Good Things: Based on the principles of Positive Psychology, this app focuses on gratitude practice and provides a simple, user-friendly way to track three things you are grateful for each day. Providing helpful daily reminders and a count of how many days in a row users have practiced gratitude, this app encourages daily use. Furthermore, the app tracks users’ responses, allowing you to review what has gone well each day. (Free; iOS)

  • Stop, Breathe, & Think: Providing users with mindfulness activities, this app starts with a check-in and brief deep breathing practice. Users answer prompts about how they are feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally and receive suggestions for mindfulness activities based on their responses. Alternatively, users can self-select a mindfulness activity, choosing among various facilitators, length of activity, as well as options for either English or Spanish. (Free, options for in-app purchases; iOS and Android; https://my.life/)
Join Us!
Do you know another military or veteran family who could benefit from HomeFront Strong? We are currently offering our online program to military and veteran spouses/significant others. Our enrollment will be ending October 1st, so contact us soon at HomeFrontStrong@umich.edu for more information.
Are you following us on Facebook?
Make sure to follow our page https://www.facebook.com/homefrontstrong 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