02/29/12 The American Red Cross, Marshall County Chapter, is offering Reconnection Workshops, Presented by Wal-Mart to ease the transition of military members returning to civilian life.  The first workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 6 at the Plymouth Public Library.

“Deployments are a fact of life in the military,” said John Pinter, Executive Director of the Red Cross.  “Whether a service member’s absence is due to a training exercise, sea duty, combat or unaccompanied duty in a remote location, separation and reunification pose unique opportunities as well as challenges for all family members.  The American Red Cross, with support from Wal-Mart, developed a series of workshops to assist all military families in managing the family’s readjustment to the service member’s return.”  Pinter is available to speak with members of the media over the phone at 574.904.7914 or at the Marshall County Chapter tomorrow afternoon.

Actively licensed and specially trained Red Cross mental health professionals lead participants through information and discussions designed to help them identify and respond to the challenges of readjusting to and transitioning back to a changed family dynamic.  The workshops are targeted to service members and their spouses, children, parents, siblings and significant others.  Topics include Communicating Clearly, Exploring Stress and Trauma, Identifying Depression, Relating to Children, and Working Through Anger.  Participants have the option of choosing any or all of the workshops.

Each workshop is approximately two hours in length.  Participants can take them in any order and select those most applicable to their situation.  Workshops are free to military members and their families and take place in a supportive and confidential environment.

The first local workshop, Communicating Clearly is on Tuesday, March 6th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Plymouth Public Library (Guild Family Room).  The St. Joseph County Chapter of the Red Cross will host the same workshop later in the day from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Chapter office in South Bend (3220 E. Jefferson Blvd). To register for the workshop, email reconnection@stjoe-redcross.org or contact the St. Joseph County Red Cross at 574.234.0191.

For more information about the workshops, visit www.redcross.org/reconnectionworkshops or contact the Marshall County Red Cross at 574.936.3928.