Peer Training Supports Veterans Whole Health Goals

The National Council for Behavioral Health recently led Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) training for 30 Veterans and staff at Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. The WHAM training — created by the National Council’s SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) — taught Veterans in recovery from mental illnesses and addictions how to lead peer support groups that promote mind-body whole health and resiliency to better self-manage physical and behavioral health issues.

A support group led by peers is effective in helping veterans identify their personal strengths and capacity for resilience. Members of the military and veterans have a tight bond, making the peer-to-peer component critical to the success of the approach.WHAM teaches 10 health and resiliency factors developed in partnership with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. They are:
1. Stress management
2. Healthy eating
3. Physical activity
4. Restful sleep
5. Service to others
6. Support network
7. Optimism based on positive expectations
8. Cognitive skills to avoid negative thinking
9. Spiritual beliefs and practices
10. A sense of meaning and purpose

WHAM trainings are available for a variety of audiences. Find out how you can bring WHAM to your agency or organization by emailing DaisyW@thenationalcouncil.org 

The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained nearly 100,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. Learn more at www.TheNationalCouncil.org.

The Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital is honored to provide services and care to America's Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.  Learn more at: www.Bedford.VA.gov/guide.