WEST LAFAYETTE — The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University will host the 12th annual Battlemind to Home Summit on Oct. 26, with optional preconference sessions on Oct. 25.
This virtual event will bring together experts in mental health, law, community services and faith to discuss best practices for supporting military-connected individuals in their transition from the battlefront to the home front.
The theme of the 2021 Battlemind to Home Summit is “Deploying Hope and Optimism in a Changing World.” Throughout the event, attendees can virtually network within and across communities, learn about shared issues and develop action plans to apply at home.
Concurrent preconference sessions will provide in-depth programming on moral injury, suicide prevention and Veterans Administration and military benefits. The main event will feature two keynote speakers: Mary Tobin, an Army veteran and a senior advisor for the Wounded Warrior, Veteran and Military Family Initiative with AmeriCorps; and Harold Koenig, a psychiatrist, and founder and director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University. See the full conference schedule online.
Nearly 400,000 veterans, 24,000 active duty and reserve members and nearly 160,000 immediate family members live in Indiana. MFRI at Purdue hosts the Battlemind Summit specifically for Indiana professionals who work with these military-connected populations.
The term “battlemind” was initially used by military to talk about the inner strength needed to face adversity, fear and hardship during combat. The application of the term has broadened to include psychological resiliency both during and after service.
“In the past year alone, world events have continued to showcase the need for a support system geared toward military members and families navigating the path between service and civilian life,” says Kathy Broniarczyk, senior director of outreach and operations at MFRI.
U.S. armed forces have faced unique dangers in their withdrawal from Afghanistan, and troops are also being sent to new hot spots around the world. Stateside deployments have increased dramatically as well; in 2020, the National Guard was deployed for 11 million person days – more than at any other time since World War II – largely to serve necessary functions in response to COVID-19.
MFRI organizes the summit each year in collaboration with the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis, the Indiana National Guard, the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Sycamore Springs, a mental health facility in Lafayette, is a gold-level sponsor for the conference.