EAV initiated its first community-based peer support group in 2014 in Farmingdale, Maine. The founding members named the group “Heart 2 Heart,” an expression coined from a prior Healing & Wellness Retreat. The purpose of the group is to provide education and support to caregivers of military veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The group meets monthly, more or less, for a potluck lunch over which the attendees share stories, provide peer support and benefit from resource development provided with assistance from EAV.
Two additional groups have formed in Maine, one in the Bucksport area and one in Augusta. All three groups are growing and accepting more members. Caregivers living in other parts of Maine have expressed interest in starting local support groups in their areas. If you would like more information about joining one of our existing groups, or would like to form a new group, please use our “Contact Us” form. The one requirement is that the caregiver and veteran attend a Healing & Wellness Retreat before joining a support group.
In 2017 the Caregiver Peer Support program was enhanced with the first caregiver-only weekend retreat. We plan a second during 2018, as well as a pilot couples retreat with a focus on caregivers’ concerns.