This is a guest post by Melissa Comeau, Director of IT Systems and Online Community at the Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).MVCN LogoWhat is MVCN?

The MVCN is run by and for military and veteran caregivers.

The mission of the MVCN (together with our partners) is to provide our nation’s pre- and post-9/11-era military and veteran caregivers with peer support to reduce their isolation and increase their senses of connectedness, engagement, hopefulness, wellness, as well as their knowledge and skills.

What does MVCN offer to caregivers?

1) A secure, customized caregiver platform which hosts both caregiver-hosted and organization-sponsored peer support groups that foster discussions around pertinent issues caregivers face

2) MVCN hosted online chats, discussions, and webinars designed to increase connectedness, knowledge, and skills and decrease isolation

3) three role-specific peer support training programs to equip and empower caregivers to offer structured support to your peers throughout their caregiving journeys as peer mentors, peer support group facilitators, and online peer forum moderators and also the opportunity to receive structured support from trained caregiver peers

4) over 3,500 vetted resources in our Resource Library

MVCN-Rosalynn Carter Caregiver Champion Award

Atlanta, GA July 29, 2016. MVCN Team Receives 2016 Rosalynn Carter Caregiver Champion Award. The Carter Center. Atlanta, GA. Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

In what ways can a caregiver connect with peers on MVCN?

The MVCN helps caregivers of all ages, at all stages of caregiving, and is providing access to three peer support programs:

1) Online Peer Support Community

2) Peer Mentor Support Program

3) Peer Support Groups

How can caregivers become a part of this network?

Please visit https://milvetcaregivernetwork.org/online-community-application or email melissa.comeau@taps.org for access to the secure, custom caregiver only network.

How can non-profits and the community benefit from MVCN?

Inside the secure and custom caregiver only platform we have partner groups for; Blue Star Families, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Hidden Heroes, American Legion Auxiliary, PsychArmor, Project Sanctuary, Operation Family Caregiver, Code of Support and Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America. We also embrace international military and veteran caregivers with groups for British and Australian caregivers. Visit MVCN’s Donors and Partners Page to learn more.

Guest Blogger: Bio

Melissa_ComeauMelissa Comeau is the proud spouse and caregiver of a United States Marine.  After 13 years of service He was medically retired from the Marine Corps due a myriad of combat related injuries.

Melissa’s book Sleeping with the War was published in 2015 and has brought the family and caregiver perspective to life after combat.

Melissa Comeau served as the Arizona Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. She is a recognized advocate for the military and veteran community and continues her efforts to support caregivers in her role as the Director of IT Systems and Online Community at the Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Her education and background in IT project management have made her a valuable resource and a pioneer in the development of technology to support caregivers who may be isolated or not otherwise connected.

 

 

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