SAFE Project is pleased to announce that, through funding and support from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), it has completed the discovery phase of research and development of the Veteran-Adult Prevention and Wellness Program in Jacksonville, Florida. The program, which focuses on military veterans and their families, will be designed by veterans for veterans with an emphasis on women.
The discovery phase of research and development in Jacksonville consisted of partnering with Organizational Wellness and Learning Systems (OWLS) to interview veteran stakeholders and conduct a focus group. Data collected in this stage was derived from 11 representatives (four key informants and seven focus group participants) for 22 total person interview hours. Key informants from The University of North Florida Military and Veterans Resource Center (UNF-MVRC), Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), and the Northeast Florida Women’s Veterans (NFWV) in the Jacksonville area were interviewed and participated in the focus group.
Key informants also aided in recruiting additional focus group members through the distribution of a 20-item online survey. A total of 20 people responded to the online survey and 12 were invited to participate in a focus group. Of the 12, seven respondents participated in the virtual focus group and received $25 gift cards for their time.
Additional outreach was done through a survey sent to 20 individuals that asked about other needs, interests, and preferences. Across all interviews and the focus group, themes of identity, mental health stigma, social supports, guidance on resources, and effective coping were identified. Input and feedback from the interviews, focus group, and survey highlights key training and resilience skills needed, and will form the basis of the Veteran-Adult Prevention and Wellness pilot program.
This front-end wellness program aims to promote resilience for post-9/11 veterans (ages 18-65). It will also encourage participants to seek help where there is a risk for substance use, mental health, and co-occurring challenges (PTSD, MST, TBI, and illness).
“SAFE Project is very excited about our partnership with Wounded Warrior Project. I believe this grant gives us a great opportunity to ask veterans what they want from training and then build an evidence-based program to meet their needs.” – Bill Pinamont, Director, SAFE Veterans.
SAFE Project would like to thank our community partners in Jacksonville who actively supported the discovery phase work.