Challenge: Currently 70% of America’s veterans are not enrolled in a system of care, waiting until personal issues reach untenable levels before seeking help. In a majority of cases, a peer or family member advises them to seek help; however, because of stigma and/or fear, veterans are reluctant to seek help, predisposing them to unemployment, under-employment, homelessness, depression and suicide (70% of suicide victims were not enrolled in the VA system or veteran service organization). Furthermore, there is no system or process that facilitates at-risk veterans to self-evaluate their wellness to seek early intervention. The need exists for an online, scalable process so veterans can easily determine their wellness, allowing them connect with veteran-friendly wellness coaches/counselors in a live private, 24/7/365 1:1 secure manner, without going through a lengthly and often embarrassing process to obtain help they need from a trusted counselor.
Need: Of the myriad challenges veterans face as they transition from the military, the one challenge that is often ignored is navigating through a “sea of good will.” Quoting from the VA’s recent report entitled The Military to Civilian Transition 2018: A Review of Historical, Current, and Future Trends: “The military to civilian transition occurs within a complex and dynamic network of relationships, programs, services, and benefits, which includes transition planning and assistance efforts by individual Service branches, the interagency Transition Assistance Program (TAP), and community resources delivered through local government, private industry, and nonprofit organizations.” In this vast and complex sea of good will are close to 50,000 nonprofit Veteran Service Organizations, plus government agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
Solution: National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. (NVTSI) aka REBOOT, in partnership with TaskHuman.com we are preparing to launch the nation’s first veteran wellness APP: www.veteranwellness.online, an evidence-based and simple-to-use veteran wellness assessment and intervention tool, designed to elicit the veteran’s own measure of wellness throughout their reintegration journey and, more importantly, to connect them, on a timely basis, to vetted physical and emotional wellness coaches/counselors, financial and other advisors in order to maintain their wellness.
Wellness as a Foundation of Gainful Employment and Life Success: As veteran employment programs proliferate, veteran unemployment has reached a record-low (under 3%). That said, a problem lurking below the surface is veteran job retention, with job loss contributing to stress within the veteran family and to loss of labor productivity to employers. Currently, 45% of veterans hired for their first job as civilians do not reach their first anniversary, and 65% do not survive to their second. By comparison, graduates of our 3-week “reverse bootcamp” REBOOT Workshops have shown a steady 93% second-year job retention since our founding in 2010. Our data in the last 10 years indicate that job loss is seldom due to the veteran employee’s lack of technical or professional expertise, but caused by extraneous factors that can be detected in their overall wellness.
Awareness is the First Step to Wellness: Capitalizing on an old African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” NVTSI believes that deploying TaskHuman as a highly scalable, Artificial Intelligence-based smart app and diagnostic tool to bring a veteran’s awareness of their wellness can be a lifesaver as they navigates the sea of good will. An obvious advantage that TaskHuman brings is its omnipresent smart app, available to veterans and to active duty personnel alike. Because NVTSI also participates in Pre-Separation (Pre-Sep) and Capstone orientations aboard military installations, our facilitators can introduce TaskHuman to service members before their release from active duty. For those of us who have crossed from the military into civilian life, or have undergone the Transition Assistance Program, the experience can feel like drinking from a fire hydrant, when we know there are hundreds of tasks to attend to in a relatively short time.