Veteran Couple Coping with Combat Stress Gives Back to Others at Mental Health Workshop
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wounded warrior couples from across the nation attended a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) mental health workshop at the Seven Springs ski lodge. These gatherings are often the first time warriors leave their homes to connect with their significant others and their communities.
U.S. Marine Corps wounded warrior Bryan Johnson and his fiancé Jessica Ayers attended the workshop as support for veteran couples who are just beginning their healing journeys. As a peer support couple, Bryan and Jessica are further along in their own recovery and can listen and provide feedback to couples who are dealing with similar relationship issues due to combat stress.
"As a couple, we were at rock bottom," said Bryan Johnson, who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. "We could only go up from there, so we wanted to attend and see what we could learn."
Through its Combat Stress Recovery Program, WWP offers specialized programs and services that address veterans' post-combat mental health needs. Thanks to generous donors, all are tailored to each warrior's specific needs and free of charge.
One such program is its multi-day veteran mental health workshops that are offered as all-male, all-female, or all-couples.
Couples workshops provide safe, private environments for warriors and their significant others to express themselves and share how their relationships are impacted by combat experiences. At the end of the workshop, couples share lessons learned from the activities they feel will most significantly affect how they will handle stressors once they return home. They also set achievable goals for a bonded recovery.
As couples brave challenges and activities, they are learning to be vulnerable to the unknown and each other and how to identify and work through anxieties together.
"Coming full circle as a peer support couple really lets us see the growth in our own journey this past year," Bryan said. "I think it's really great to see other couples coming to these workshops, and hopefully we are able to help them on their paths to recovery."
To learn and see more about how these workshops connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit our multimedia page.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project