Daniel Eisenberg

A Peer-to-Peer Program on College Campuses to Improve Wellbeing and Mental Health Outcomes of Student Veterans

Research Project Description
Michelle Renee Kees, Marcia Ann Valenstein, Daniel Eisenberg

The Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) Program is a peer-to-peer program that connects incoming student veterans with upper class student veterans to help them navigate college life, identify challenges they are encountering, refer them to the appropriate resources on or off campus, and provide ongoing support. The main goals of the program are to:
? Ease the transition from the military to the university.
? Improve student veteran sense of connectedness to the university.
? Identify mental health issues and other concerns in a timely fashion and connect student veterans with appropriate resources.
? Increase student veteran retention rates.
? Improve student veteran academic performance.
? Create a sense of community and source of support through knowledgeable peers.
Student veterans will be recruited with the help of the school?s Veteran?s Service Officer and each school?s administration and emails sent by the school. The project will serve to identify on-campus, VA and community resources that address the needs of student veterans; increase awareness of issues facing student veterans and what the campus and community can do to ?step up? to solutions; strengthen relationships between college administration and student groups, and, ultimately establish a continuum of medical and non-medical supportive services that student veterans might need. Incoming students will be notified about the program through campus orientation. The student veteran volunteers will be regularly supervised and will report on their support and referral activities. The program will also identify an emergency clinician contact either on campus or from M-SPAN in the event a student veteran is in crisis and needs immediate assistance. The proposed project has the potential to improve mental health, academic outcomes, and quality of life for thousands of student veterans.

Funding:
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
(Award Letter dated 11/01/2012)

Funding Period: 11/1/2012 to 5/31/2017

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