The Veterans Wellbeing Survey was created to explore the relationship between social identity and psychological and emotional health in survivors of conflict, specifically U.S. military service members. This survey is associated with the dissertation research of Mary Fortson-Harwell, a PhD student at Kennesaw State University. Mary’s interest in this path of research is derived from her personal experiences growing up in a military family, as well as professional experiences as a Clinical Social Worker working with military and refugee populations. Post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and suicide are well-documented maladies for United States service members returning from deployments. The transition from military to civilian life poses many challenges, and research has shown that the support of comrades, family members, and other community resources are instrumental in smoothing this transition (Brunell, Coleman, & Hunt, 2010).
This research focuses specifically on exploring these relationships, as well as the relationship between identity and psychosocial well-being for U.S. military service members when transitioning between military and civilian roles. Comparing service members across a spectrum of community reintegration activities, such as retreats and sweat lodges, this research intends to develop best practices and concrete policy recommendations to improve the effectiveness of programming provided by government entities and non-governmental organizations assisting in the return and reintegration of service members, as well as public health organizations focused on community well-being in the wake of conflict.
The Veterans Wellbeing Survey is now closed. Results and findings from the research project may be found online at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/incmdoc_etd/9/. Thank you for your participation and/or interest!