SAMHSA’s Prevention Day was Monday, January 30, 2023, in conjunction with CADCA National Leadership Forum. The event took place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Whether you are a prevention practitioner, community leader, researcher, scientist, consumer, or an advocate, this interactive forum had something for everyone.
John Wilson, Community and Faith-based Program Manager, spoke about the Faith and Allegiance Initiative which he founded, and the program is now an integral part of the Veterans Mental Health Department’s efforts.
His presentation was titled THREE CRITICAL ATTRIBUTES: CONNECTION, COMMUNITY AND CALLING
The Faith & Allegiance Initiative helps community and faith-based organizations understand that transitioning out of the military can be problematic and success is generally determined by whether those separating have acquired three attributes: social connectivity, a sense of community, and renewed calling. Given the extensive training, strong work ethic, and team orientation found in the military, some assume veterans should find it easy to resume civilian roles, but many find rejoining the civilian world filled with unique challenges. Changing careers is especially disruptive for veterans because it does not typically resemble the highly structured culture that permeates military life. The Veterans Mental Health Department (VMHD) understands the complexities of this transition and responds through the Military Veteran Peer Network, TVC-Certified Peer Service Coordinators, and peer volunteers strategically placed, creating a statewide peer-to-peer network for any service member, veteran, or family member. VMHD leads statewide outreach to community and faith-based leaders of both rural and metropolitan areas, encouraging stakeholders to adopt the Faith & Allegiance Initiative and implement its eight strategies.