Health & Safety

April 26, 2012

Resilient Spouse Academy teaches spouses survival skills

By Joan Vasey
Scout Editor
IMG_5732
Physical fitness is an important tool for increased resiliency. Here, students learn physical fitness through Zumba during a Resilient Spouse Academy training session.

By definition, resiliency is the ability to bounce back after life-altering events, adjust to sudden shifts and changes and meet challenges head-on. Resiliency is a critical weapon for a service member to have in his or her life-skills arsenal.

It’s not only those in the armed forces who need to be resilient — family members, especially military spouses need to be able to cope with deployments and other situations unique to the military.

When service members deploy, household roles shift. The remaining spouse assumes the deploying partner’s responsibilities in addition to their own while living with the uncertainty that deployment naturally brings. A person used to a stable lifestyle and who is new to the military may not be very resilient, especially if they’ve never experienced multiple moves or had to survive a life-altering event.

However, resiliency skills can be developed. Army Community Service can help.

In 2009, Jennifer Rickert was stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. and was frustrated by Fort Riley’s and the family readiness groups’ lack of training for spouses. “Family Readiness Groups are supportive during deployment, but no spouse is really equipped with the skills they need to withstand deployments. Especially if it’s their first one, like it was mine.”

So, she and a few others decided to do something about it. Through the ACS program at Riley and the garrison commander, they created a class to teach resiliency skills – the Resilient Spouse Academy.

During the weeklong academy, participants learn a variety of skills which increase their chances of surviving in the military. These skills can be applied in many situations.

Spouses learn how to communicate and network effectively. They learn to become more financially savvy. They are taught to recognize signs of suicidal tendencies and substance abuse. Attendees also learn about support networks for parents and how to develop the five comprehensive Soldier fitness skills for themselves: physical, social, family, spiritual and emotional.

Rickert was involved with one workshop at Riley before her husband was reassigned to Fort Huachuca. After a few months of settling in, she began volunteering at Army Community Service and has been there for about a year. She has also brought the Resilient Spouse Academy to Fort Huachuca.

In May, she’ll begin her fourth class. It will run May 7 – 11, and registration is currently underway.

“The classes are daylong classes,” Rickert said. “They run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.”

Rickert, who volunteers as the ACS special events coordinator, said the May class is currently scheduled to take place at the ACS building off the traffic circle near Old Post. The classes are free, and childcare and children’s lunches are provided. The only thing participants need to bring is lunch for themselves.

Rickert said her classes continue to evolve, and have become more spouse-based, focusing on what the spouses need and want. “We even include a Zumba class,” Rickert said.

The ‘extreme couponing’ session, a favorite, is taught by Army wife Priscilla Donnelly, an avid coupon-user who meets with other coupon users on Sundays at Murr Community Center.

Another class focuses on Army Family Team Building — what it is, why it is important and how it can help spouses to network and create strong bonds with others. A support base is especially important to those whose spouses are deployed and even more so to those who are serving as the sole parent in the absence of the deployed spouse — a role that can be very demanding.

Other areas the Resilient Spouse Academy focuses on include: family finances; women’s wellness; Master Resiliency Training focusing on the five comprehensive Soldier fitness skills; available scholarships; support and other resources for military spouses; the new military spouse employment program and networking.

“It saddens me that our spouses are not aware of the many resources and the support available to us. A spouse at our last academy cried in relief to know that there is a lot of support here at Fort Huachuca and other installations. The staff here at ACS did a wonderful job reassuring her of that,” Rickert said.

The Resilient Spouse Academy is not only open to active-duty military spouses.

“The program is open to members of the [National] Guard, Reservists, Department of the Army civilians and retirees,” Rickert stated.

“We are not going to turn anyone down. We all need resiliency,” she explained with a chuckle.

For information or to register, call Rickert, 538.8649.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Delivery nurse drops donut day for Performance Triad

WASHINGTON – Capt. Frances Young used to have doughnut day with her family every weekend. After filling up on donuts with her husband and two children, ages 3 and 4, she said she would get an initial sugar rush and then feel sleepy and crash for the rest of the day. Young, who is the...
 
 
Run-for-God

Religious Support Office offers new running program

Fort Huachuca’s Religious Support Office is hosting a practical, non-competitive guide to running and a 12-week training plan with a Christian focus. The program, titled ‘Run for God’ will begin training from 5 p.m. to 6 ...
 
 

ArmyFit website offers information on how to achieve, sustain lasting fitness

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – For little more than a year, the Army has been promoting a website called ArmyFit, a resource site that provides Soldiers, Family members and U.S. Army civilians with information regarding their physical, spiritual, emotional, Family and social status. The site allows the user to take a completely confidential brief survey through...
 

 

ASAP, SHARP to host Alcohol Awareness Month activities

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. The Fort Huachuca Army Substance Abuse Program, ASAP will sponsor a host of activities that create awareness in the...
 
 

ArmyFit website offers information on how to achieve, sustain lasting fitness

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — For little more than a year, the Army has been promoting a website called ArmyFit, a resource site that provides Soldiers, family members and U.S. Army civilians with information regarding their physical, spiritual, emotional, family and social status. The site allows the user to take a completely confidential brief survey through...
 
 

Army health leaders advocate for importance of nutrition

WASHINGTON — During National Nutrition Month in March, “we encourage each of you to renew a commitment to achieving your personal Performance Triad goals,” said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” she said. The Performance Triad focuses on the importance of sleep, activity and nutrition...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin