Facilitating a community of support for veteran spouses
The Veteran Spouse Network (VSN) began in January 2016 as an online and in-person forum for veteran spouses throughout Texas to become engaged in defining resources and programming for themselves and their families. Today, the VSN has grown to a network of over 800 spouses. As we move forward, we continue to grow members and partners, offering opportunities for spouses to connect, share resources and offer ongoing support and guidance within their community, throughout the state, and across the country.
Our work is influenced by the understanding that Veteran families rely on strong communities to support each other while facing their unique challenges. Veteran spouses, this is your network. This network is meant to incorporate your input, voice and perspectives. We strongly encourage you to become involved! The network is designed to include members either by accessing this website, our Facebook page, by participating in our programs, or by meeting up with local members to find support and share relevant resources. As our network continues to grow, it is our hope that it will be influenced by its members and will become the resource that its members need it to be. We are here to help build it and identify programming and events that you want to see more of in your area. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your input and ideas on how to make this network what you want it to be!
After 17 years at war, the U.S. faces unprecedented challenges in caring for military service members and their families. Numerous programs address the mental and physical health needs of veterans, but few attend to the needs and experiences of their family members. In particular, spouses’ views on, and needs for, mental health have received sparse attention.
Veteran families face a diverse set of concerns including secondary effects of veterans’ posttraumatic stress disorder, interpersonal struggles within the family and parenting challenges due to prolonged separation, problems readjusting to civilian life, and transition challenges faced by children. Veteran spouses often bear the burden as caregivers to veterans, and sometimes report feeling that they and their families are left out of the opportunities meant to support veterans. The VSN works to fill that gap in services; focusing on the veteran spouse to ensure their needs are being met. When we address the needs and challenges of spouses, we ensure that the veteran family unit is the strongest family unit
This network is housed within the Institute for Military & Veteran Family Wellness, in partnership with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Dell Medical School. In line with the mission of the school, the Institute works to provide national leadership to promote social and economic justice, alleviate critical social problems, and enhance human well-being.