205 a Campagna Saari presentation

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205 a Campagna Saari presentation

  1. 1. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors presents Working with Children Who have Lost a Loved One in the Military 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  2. 2. “There is no more effective way of creating bitter enemies for the Army than by failing to do everything we can possibly do at a time of bereavement. Nor is there a more effective way of making friends for the Army than by showing we are personally interested in every fatality which occurs.” Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  3. 3. “In the first hours and days, the military will make either an adversary or an advocate for life in the family of those who have died in service to their country.” Wife of Captain Lee Youngblood, pilot killed at Nellis AFB 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  4. 4. TAPS Mission Statement TAPS is the national non-profit Veterans Service Organization made up of, and providing support to, everyone who has lost a loved one in service to our country. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  5. 5. TAPS Mission The mission of TAPS is to honor our men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to America by caring for all those who they loved and left behind. TAPS carries on and expands upon the immediate support provided by the Casualty Officer in the first few days by giving survivors a comprehensive array of support services, available 24/7, at no cost to the survivor or to the government. These services provide peer based emotional support, grief and trauma resources and information, casualty case assistance, and crisis intervention. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  6. 6. The TAPS Family TAPS is a family, coming together to remember the love and celebrate the life of those we have lost, and share our journey to find comfort and healing. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  7. 7. TAPS helps heal... Peer support Those who have lost a loved one in the armed forces, including the National Guard and Reserve, whether in a duty status or not, are part of the TAPS national survivor network. These family members and friends share their pain and fears in a supportive environment and help each other heal. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  8. 8. TAPS helps heal... Peer support Grief and Trauma Information and Resources TAPS is a member of the Association of Death Education and Counseling and the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, able to offer information about the very best bereavement resources in America, wherever military families may relocate after a loss. TAPS is also a partner of the VA Vet Centers for grief and trauma counseling for ALL family members. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  9. 9. TAPS helps heal... Peer support Grief Resources Crisis Intervention A network of trained crisis response professionals is on call in each state 24 hours a day through 1-800-959-8277. They bring a wealth of compassion and experience to critical incident stress and trauma, and are there to help survivors understand the reactions they are having to their sudden loss. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  10. 10. TAPS helps heal... Peer support Grief Resources Crisis Intervention TAPS Service Officers Assistance such as that offered by Casualty Officers immediately after a death is provided by TAPS long after the official file has been closed. For families, tracking information through an often complicated bureaucracy can be challenging on a good day, and under emotional stress, becomes overwhelming. TAPS has an empathetic network of experienced staff and volunteers available to assist family members in finding solutions to problems. 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  11. 11. TAPS also offers... Survivor Seminar for adults Good Grief Camp for children Online Support Groups Quarterly magazine with articles about coping with loss Bereavement Resource Reports with information about local area support groups TAPS website and forums Peer Mentor program eNewsletters offering hope and comfort Care Package of materials on coping with traumatic loss 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  12. 12. TAPS Case Assistance Common Case Queries Finding support groups Personal effects Getting peer mentor Funeral honors Headstone issues Insurance questions Questions related to death Suicide related support Paternity issues Talking to another survivor Support for extended Children’s grief issues family Questions on benefits Family dynamics Financial planning VA benefits Wearing wedding rings Accessing private benefits Coping with anniversaries Help with media inquiries Handling the holidays 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  13. 13. TAPS Case Assistance Partner Agencies Service Casualty and American Psychological Mortuary Affairs Offices Association Department of Veterans Association of Suicidology Affairs American Grief Academy Veterans Service Officers Association of Death Social Security Education and Counseling Administration TAPS Board of Advisors TriCare Agencies Medical issues Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance Psychological Armed Forces Services Emergency Response Corporation Spiritual issues VA Readjustment Children’s grief Counseling Service Command response 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  14. 14. TAPS also offers... Care Package of materials on coping with traumatic loss Regional Survivor Seminar for adults Regional Good Grief Camp for children Online Support Groups and Forums Quarterly magazine with articles about coping with loss Bereavement Resource Reports with information about local area support groups TAPS website with information and resources Peer Mentor program for surviving families eNewsletters offering hope and comfort 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  15. 15. TAPS Stats 26 staff in California, New York, Texas, Washington DC, South Carolina, Virginia, Alaska, Florida, Washington, North Carolina, Oregon and Vermont (many are survivors with applicable professional credentials). Regional Programs held at major military installations (Forts Campbell, Hood, Bragg, Lewis, Richardson, Stewart, Drum, Carson and Camps Pendleton and Lejeune) with average 1200 invitees per event and 250 attendees. Data base contains over 35,000 survivors spanning 14 years of providing services. Care Groups in 20 areas around America, including Chicago, St. Louis, Baton Rouge, Des Moines, Los Angeles 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  16. 16. TAPS Outreach Expanded outreach to the following: Families of contractors killed in support of the military mission Families of Iraqis killed while working side by side with Americans Wounded Warriors working as mentors with the Good Grief Camp 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  17. 17. The Knock on the Door …. Military will send a CNO (Casualty Notification Officer) and a Chaplain in uniform to do the notification. For families located in extremely rural areas a NG/Reserve soldier may be sent with a local sheriff or officer. Whomever is listed on the military members’ DD93 form as the NOK (next of kin) will be notified. CANNOT be done over the phone – goal is to notify the NOK within 24 hrs of the death. Released to the media 24 hrs after last NOK is notified (often takes a long time for accidents with multiple casualties i.e. helicopter crash) CAO (Casualty Assistance Officer) will be there the next day to help with arrangements and paperwork (Marines have the same CACO Officer for the whole time). Care Team/GO Team – Army FRG spouses provide immediate support (Marine – Key Volunteers) 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  18. 18. Why losing a loved one in the Military is different Death Notification and Military Burial – these can be very tough and take months (Often no body or more remains are found) Moving away from the military community (off post/base) Change in Origin/Roles of extended family Changing Schools Benefits are complex Loss of lifestyle -- the military is a culture and a commitment – TAPS becomes the new military family 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  19. 19. Why losing a loved one in the Military is different Media – death might have been very public and replayed often Loss of identity and status Personal/family political and social views on the war and government Lack of understanding away from military bases (NG/Reserve families) Military rituals and protocol New military ID Tremendous pride in loved one’s service – this bond is shared 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  20. 20. Working with Military Kids Extenuating Circumstances May seem like dad is still deployed Classmates have deployed parents Suicide and the stigma that comes with it Father vs. Step Father (who primarily raised the child) Other deaths stateside (training accidents, car accidents, etc) May not be old enough to remember Dad Child may have been the one to “answer the door” Dual military parent families 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  21. 21. Keys to Working with Military Kids Given the option to participate in the funeral/memorial services Keep personal military and political views out of the picture Children need to know the truth in age appropriate manner (often they imagine things much worse then actual) Give the opportunity to say goodbye and allow them to commemorate dates using rituals, etc (Anniversaries, birthdays, Memorial Day, etc) Communicating with the school (Reiterate that a child never “gets over” the death) Often told by deceased before deployment – “You are now the man of the house” – child takes it literally 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  22. 22. Issues that can cause regression In Military Kids Parent’s military unit returning from deployment Moving and Changing schools (even if it is just moving off post/base) Traumatic when moving away from the military community Classmate’s parents deploying or returning Others lack of understanding of the military culture (moving away from military bases or NG/Reserve families) Mother dating again or ending relationships especially with military members 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  23. 23. TAPS Good Grief Camps National Camp – Memorial Day Held every Memorial Day Weekend in Washington DC with around 380 children from all over the country who suffered a loss in the military Trained Group Leaders for every age group (1 experienced Military Leader with TAPS experience and 1 Leader with a mental health/education background preferably military affiliation) – Strictly Volunteers for the whole 4 day period Provides a safe environment to grieve and tell their story with same aged peers – Lets them know they are “Not Alone” New kids and returning come to the camp – returning are extremely helpful to the new children 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  24. 24. TAPS Good Grief Camps National Camp – Memorial Day Families fill out extensive intake forms with backgrounds on each child Child Psychologist, Army Veteran Psychologist specializing in PTSD, and Pediatrician on site available for emergencies and interventions (RN’s placed throughout the groups in the camp) Released to parents in the evening Around 380 children at each Memorial Day camp Weekend visitors (Generals, Admirals, several Celebrities) Mentors and Group Leaders invited to share their loss but concentration should be on child’s loss Therapeutic not therapy 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  25. 25. TAPS Good Grief Camps National Camp – Memorial Day Military Mentors Every child is paired up with a trained military mentor who acts as a “Big Brother/Sister” for the weekend. Every mentor is in the military or has a military background – many mentors are members of the Arlington National Cemetery Honor Guard (Casket Bearers) Each Mentor and Group leader must pass a background check All volunteers Go through training the day before the camp Many mentors return despite military obligations elsewhere Many are veterans who have been deployed 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  26. 26. TAPS Good Grief Camps Key “Companioning” Methods Taught to Mentors Companioning is about learning from others; it is not about teaching them. Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away or relieving the pain. Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it is not about filling every painful moment with talk. Companioning is about listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head. Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing those struggles. (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.) 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  27. 27. TAPS Good Grief Camps National Camp – Memorial Day Weekend Day 1 (Spend some of the day getting to know each other, Team Building Exercises) Tell your Story and Discuss/Normalize Feelings and Emotions Day 2 (Part of the day spent on Field Trips: Going to Ft. Meyer and eating at the Chow Hall, visiting the Caisson horses, DC memorials) Special Memories of Loved One and Coping Skills Day 3 (Camp officially ends and option of going to the Memorial Day Concert in the evening on the steps of the Capital) Support Systems and Saying Goodbye without forgetting Monday (Families are invited to go to see the President’s Memorial Day Speech their uniformed mentors and lay the TAPS wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown) 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  28. 28. TAPS Good Grief Camps National Camp – Memorial Day Weekend Plenty of down time Sports in the park Rolling Thunder - motorcycle parade Games in the Room (often becomes unfacilitated play therapy) Boys using the Jenga Blocks and Army figures to reenact “war games” Visit from Comfort Therapy Dogs Meditation and Relaxation exercises Music Therapy and Zumba instructor 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  29. 29. TAPS Good Grief Camps Regional Camps Going to major military bases/posts along with states that have high losses and holding Good Grief Camps for children along with Survivor Seminars for Adults Held 20 so far with 2 booked every month Provides a safe environment to grieve with alike aged peers (usually groups of 10-20 children) One day camps with experienced and trained Group Leaders with a military background along with uniformed military members acting as mentors for the day (often wounded warriors) 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  30. 30. TAPS Good Grief Camps Regional Camps Four main objectives for a one day Regional TAPS Good Grief Camp are to: Tell their story Discuss Feelings/Emotions Discuss Coping Skills Discuss Support Systems Regional Camps also include: Heavy Military Chaplain Support, Static Displays, etc 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  31. 31. Resources for Military Kids TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors www.taps.org 800-959-TAPS Military One Source www.militaryonesource.com 800-342-9647 Give an Hour www.giveanhour.org VA Vet Centers www.vetcenter.va.gov MCEC Military Child Education Coalition www.militarychild.org Zero to Three www.zerotothree.org Local Military Bases and State National Guard Bureaus can put you in touch with local resources such as: Family Life Consultants Military Chaplains Tricare options for therapy on posts/bases 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org
  32. 32. TAPS honors our fallen service members by ensuring that the loved ones they may leave behind are not forgotten. www.taps.org 800-959-TAPS Heather Campagna, EdS, CT heather@taps.org Tina Saari, B.S. tina@taps.org 800-959-TAPS (8277) www.taps.org

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