Women Veterans and Military Families Program

Balanced Heart Healing Center has been laying foundations to launch a program to serve the unique needs of military women – veterans, service members, war widows, and family members.

The purpose of the program is three-fold:
● Give visibility and a voice to military women
● Create a community of care around military families before, during, and after deployments
● Build bridges between military and civilian cultures

Click here to download the brochure

With the highest per capita density of veterans in the country and no active duty base to support them, the Pittsburgh region’s veterans (100,000 in Allegheny County alone according to a Univ. of Pittsburgh study ), active Reservists and National Guard experience emotional, practical, and financial stresses that are mitigated for those living near active duty bases. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is third in the US for the number of personnel in the military, and third for the number of deployed National Guard troops (Univ. of Pittsburgh study). Although there are 763,000 women veterans in Pennsylvania and women comprise an increasing percentage of the veteran population (nearly 20% now), there are no veteran organizations in the Pittsburgh area dedicated specifically to serving women veterans.

For a variety of reasons, many veterans prefer to receive healthcare services from civilian providers, and women who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma may not want to be cared for in facilities where they share support groups with men. By increasing civilian awareness of the realities surrounding military life and engaging individuals as well as BHHC partner organizations in support of military women, it is our intention to create a community of care around military families in southwestern Pennsylvania such that they are as well supported by the Pittsburgh community as other service members and veterans are by their active duty bases.

As part of our program for Women Veterans and Military Families, we also plan in 2013 to begin training women veterans and active service members as Balanced Heart? Trauma-focused Peer Specialists. Our intention is then to hire women we have trained to serve their own community and expand the capacity of our program for Women Veterans and Military Families.

The “Women Veterans and Military Families” program initially will comprise:
● Mental health counseling for women veterans and military families
● Coaching services for women veterans and military families
● Balanced Heart? Trauma-focused Peer Specialist job training (coming in 2013)
● Peer support groups (coming in 2013)
● Financial planning services
● Referrals to complementary and alternative care providers
● Referrals to other organizations offering services not available at BHHC
● Listening events (including both military and civilian women) to hear and identify the most pressing needs and valuable resources of our women veterans, as we expand our capacity to serve them.

Thank you for your support of this program! Click here to volunteer your services, and here to donate.