The following recently released research from the Bob Woodruff Foundation is intended to rationalize the foundation’s resource focus on Veteran organizations that share the ideology articulated here and who’s day-to-day work is closest to the issues. While the Woodruff research is current and oriented to COVID-19, it aligns with older research that was instrumental in the founding of the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation.
BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION STUDY 2020
Many veterans will struggle with unemployment, financial instability and mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, according to a recent report from the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
The study said community-based and national support programs should be better prepared to help veterans, who are facing the same uncertainties as all Americans but often have additional challenges related to their past service.
Iraq Veteran Leo Evans tells his story at the 4th Annual Chat N’ Chew celebration of Black History Month at The Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation.
GRAYSLAKE – Leo Evans is a big man with a quick smile and an infectious laugh.
Wearing a Waukegan Jr. Bulldogs 2018 Division Championship sweatshirt, he lights up while he talks about his family. He loves cooking with his daughter and playing football with his son and spending time with his wife, who was his high school sweetheart. He also just bought his first home, he said, pulling up his sweatshirt to reveal a T-shirt bearing the words “Veteran Home Owner.”
He paces across the front of the small conference room at the end of the hall at Grayslake’s Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation and seems to be at ease in front of the small group gathered there.
If you are a Veteran who needs a will and powers of attorney for healthcare and property, LCVFSF would like to introduce you to Attorney Sandie Moon. Working through the foundation, Sandie offers estate planning services at much-reduced rates to Veterans and heir loved ones.
A former teacher, Sandie is demystifies the language of estate planning and helping people prepare for the inevitable transition that death brings to individuals and families.
The life-long resident of Lake County brings the communication skills of a teacher to the practice of law. “I was an elementary and middle-school teacher for many years before deciding I wanted to stretch my horizons,” she said. In her mid-thirties, she began paralegal studies and went to work for a Waukegan law firm as a bookkeeper and secretary.
COVID 19 Corona Virus Resources
Know about how to access online support groups, so you can keep social distance, while staying connected. Here are a variety of online support groups:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Online Intergroup: 608-222-8989 (24-hour helpline) or http://aa-intergroup.org/. Online meetings in a variety of formats including email, chat/text, audio/video, discussion forums, and telephone. ·
SMART Recovery: https://www.smartrecovery.org. A science-based addiction recovery support group with a focus on building and maintaining the motivation to change; coping with urges to use; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors; and living a balanced, positive, and healthy life. Groups offered in-person and online.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): https://adaa.org/adaa-online-support-group. Anonymous online peer-to-peer anxiety and depression support group.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): www.supportgroupscentral.com/dbsa. Online support groups provide people living with depression and bipolar disorder a place to share experiences, discuss coping skills, and offer hope to one another. DBSA support groups are peer-led, meaning they are facilitated by someone living with a mood disorder.
DepressionTribe Support Group: https://support.therapytribe.com/depression-support-group/. Online peer-to-peer support group for individuals living with the challenge of depression or bipolar disorder.
TheTribe Wellness Community: https://support.therapytribe.com/. Online, peer-to-peer support group for individuals living with the daily challenge of anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Hope & Harmony for People with Bipolar Disorder: https://www.bphope.com/. Social media (Facebook) group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/356671624851872/? ref=pages_profile_groups_tab&source_id=146904598668409) to provide support and resources for people diagnosed with bipolar, looking for information about a possible bipolar disorder diagnosis, and looking for help supporting a friend or family member with this mental health condition.
Hopeline Center for Suicide Awareness Free National Text line: https://centerforsuicideawareness.org/hopeline/ Free 24/7 text crisis line, staffed with peers who offer support to help you cool down from a hot moment.
Mental Health America Support Groups: https://www.mhanational.org/findsupport-groups. Community and online support group resources.
The National Suicide Prevention Crisis Line. 1-800-273-8255 or on line https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Providing free, 24/7, confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones and best practices for professionals.
Covid19 Lake County Updates
For specific Corona Virus Updates relevant to Lake County, IL, click HERE.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. Call 1-800-950-6264 or email .
Military suicides continue to rise
6:39 PM EDT September 26, 2019
Deaths by suicide in the US military continue to rise with 541 service members dying in 2018, according to a Pentagon report issued Thursday.
Military leaders are continuing to express concern and frustration about the rising number of deaths as they attempt to understand why the numbers are increasing. (continued)
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Meet Rebecca Whitcome
Coming from an extended family full of Veterans and having a big “soft spot” for Service Members, Rebecca Whitcombe recently agreed to offer her professional legal services to the foundation’s families and friends.
There is free consultation for those who call LCVFSF to register. Other legal services are offered at a reduced rate that will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Rebecca expects that most of her “return” will come from the satisfaction of helping Veterans and their loved ones. “I want to ‘give something back’ to the Veterans and family members in the community around me,” she said. “That led me to contact LCVFSF.”
Rebecca’s firm, Whitcombe Law, P.C. is dedicated to dealing with family issues that include divorce, adoption, custody, child support, paternity and pre-nuptial agreements. Rebecca started her own Waukegan-based firm nine years ago after working first as a paralegal and then as a lawyer for other firms. She is a graduate of Cornell Law School.
“We are very happy that Rebecca has agreed to work with us in helping Veterans and their loved ones,” said LCVFSF founder and president Paul Baffico. “If you have a family law matter that you need help with, just call us at 847-986-4622.”
Military life can be full of transitions. From deployments to retirement, these times can bring about both new opportunities and challenges. Active duty service members have long enjoyed the support of sponsors during their military service transitions. But similar support is not provided for the final transition to civilian life.
VA’s Expiration Term of Service (ETS) Sponsorship Program is beginning to change that, with promising results.
The program helps transitioning service members secure housing, find jobs, pursue educational opportunities and access mental health support, while also providing support to their families.
When service members execute an ETS or retire from service, there is no individual assigned responsibility for their transition into the civilian world. This transition can be challenging, as service members lose the benefits of military leadership, camaraderie, support and structure.
These losses can lead to increased stressors, a decreased sense of purpose and an elevated risk for suicide and other mental health concerns when service members rejoin the civilian community.
As a result, VA has started collaborating closely with the U.S. Department of Defense; academia, including Syracuse and Columbia universities; local governments; and nonprofits, such as American Corporate Partners and ProVetus, to launch the ETS Sponsorship Program.
Motorcycles – retired Navy – fuel exposures. Sonja Skinner says those are three items she added to her profile on VA DoD Veteran Link, a new social networking app just for Veterans and current service members. The app creates a secure, closed community where users can connect and feel comfortable talking about common interests and life circumstances – including any health concerns they may have.
After retiring from the Navy in 2005, Skinner began her second career at VA. Today, she works at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple, Texas, as a My HealtheVet Coordinator, a VA Online Scheduling Manager and a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Representative. She’s busy, but not too busy to help test new VA technologies and apps. She tested VA DoD Veteran Link this past spring.