The RAND report, Hidden Heroes: America’s Military Caregivers (2014), commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, shares the stories of selfless duty and sacrifice performed by family members and friends caregiving who are the caregivers for those wounded, ill or injured as a result of their service to our country.
The RAND report found that over half of military and veteran caregivers possess no network of peer support. This lack of support results in isolation, which contributes to declining personal health outcomes, greater strains on family relationships and workplace issues.
The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) seeks to address isolation and its associated challenges faced by caregivers. The Network offers caregivers access to the highest quality peer support programs and services– online and in their communities– through collaboration with partner organizations, agencies and groups that share a commitment to reducing caregiver isolation.
The MVCN’s primary Peer Support Programs are modeled on those of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), which has been recognized for its success by the White House Joining Forces Initiative. MVCN delivers these programs with the anchor sponsorship of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and in partnership with hundreds of military and veterans service, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, government agencies and private foundations.
The three peer-based programs are:
- Online Peer Support Community
- Online & Community-Based Peer Support Groups
- Peer Mentor Support Program
The Network allows caregivers to offer one another support, understanding and encouragement. During its first full year of operation, the MVCN has reached over 50,000 caregivers who might otherwise remain alone with their challenges, isolated with their emotions and often hopeless in their circumstances. Our mission remains to reach America’s 5.5 million+ “Hidden Heroes.”