NAMI helps military caregivers support loved ones

Updated: Nov. 15, 2018 at 10:58 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - NAMI Homefront is helping loved ones of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions support them.

It is the first time it has been offered in Wichita Falls.

Heather Tyson said it has taught her ways she can be there for her husband.

“My husband he is a veteran, he went over in 2003 and came back in 2004," Tyson said.

He served in the United States Army for four years.

Tyson knows that our service men and women need our support overseas and that does not change when they get home.

A reason Jessica Wood, Executive Director or Nami Wichita Falls, said the Homefront course exist.

“We know a lot of times the service members come back from combat and they may be a different person compared to when they left,” said Wood. “It could be hard to understand that from a caregiver, family member or friend perspective.”

The six-session class explains issues service members or veterans may be going through. Like substance abuse, PTSD, suicidal thoughts or depression and how to be there for them.

Tyson said it is not always easy and struggles come up.

“Communication is huge,” said Tyson. “I feel like from the beginning that has just been a big one, and the way he communicates and the way I communicate is very different, so we’ve had to find a middle ground.

This course has also helped her find support systems like Helen Farabee Centers.

“Without those resources you're just kind of drowning and nobody likes to drown, so this would just be a great place to go to get those life jackets,” Tyson said.

Wood said it does not feel fair to her that these men and women go overseas and risk their live and come back and are expected to be okay.

“They are human at the end of the day, and we need to as a community step up and take care of our veterans and active duty military members," said Wood.

She said this class in one way to help do that.

Those who work with Helen Farabee Centers helped teach the class that also went over recognizing warning signs of suicide, having a crisis plan in place and why it is important for those caregivers to take care of themselves.

Those in the course right now will graduate Friday. If you are interested in taking part, the next session is expected to be held in the spring. While classes are free you do have to sign-up beforehand.

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