Red Cross Launches Virtual COVID-19 Resiliency Training for Troops, Vets, Families

The American Red Cross is offering virtual resiliency workshops to help military service members, veterans, and their families better deal with the new coronavirus crisis.

In the past, the nonprofit has taught in-person, small-group-style resiliency classes that tackled issues such as communication problems, depression, and stress, Lynn Crabb, the organization’s senior director of services to the Armed Forces, said during an April 28 virtual town hall presented by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative. However, these new online modules specifically take on challenges presented by the new coronavirus pandemic and are being tailored to the defense community.

“The Red Cross has always been there for the military community, but now we are focusing on more accessible skills-building and behavioral health outlets for this community because we know that people are nervous and their access to resources has changed due to COVID-19,” Melissa Porrey, a Red Cross mental health senior associate and licensed professional counselor, said in an April 14 release about the effort. “By using a virtual model, people all over the world can log in and connect in real time with a small group of people facing similar concerns.”

The workshops will each last between one hour and 90 minutes, the release said, and tackle subjects including: 

  • Dealing with isolation-related stress
  • Remote work
  • Family caregiving
  • Health management
  • How to define stress and recognize its effects
  • How to communicate in a healthy way under stressful circumstances
  • Career interruptions
  • Wellness planning
  • Practicing relaxation
  • Positive thinking

“It’s really skills-building, helping to deal with some of the issues that are coming up during COVID-19, and really trying to ensure that you can support yourself, your family, [and] work on some of those communication issues that might be coming up,” Crabb said.

Local Red Cross chapters are organizing these trainings, which will be led by licensed mental health professionals, Crabb said. In an effort to make the workshops feel more like in-person events, participants will be able to discuss their experiences with the rest of their small groups, the release noted.

“To sign up for a virtual workshop or learn more, call your local Red Cross chapter or contact them by visiting and type in your zip code,” the release advised.