The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project

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North Central State College, The Ohio State University at Mansfield and Ashland University in partnership with Richland County  Catholic Charities the Mental Health and Recovery Board are reaching out to military veterans in order to provide them with opportunities to attain their educational goals. Upon returning home and to civilian life, many veterans struggle and suffer from a sense of extreme isolation because of their military experiences. It is important to create an environment that is safe, accepting and supportive of all students on our campus, including veterans; it will help them heal and will increase their chances of attaining their educational goals.

An effective way of fostering a trauma-informed culture specifically for veterans has been created by psychologist and award winning author Paula Caplan, Ph.D.* It is based on the book When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans, which is about the painful isolation many veterans experience. It offers us a simple way to help veterans and teaches nonveterans the art of compassionate listening. The astonishing power of listening, often these days underestimated, is explored with regard to having nonveterans simply listen with respect and without judgment to the stories of veterans from all United States wars since World War II. Every nonveteran should listen to a veteran tell their story.

The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project is about welcoming veterans back into our communities and listening to their stories, one-on-one. She provides guidelines for conducting these conversations. The project has its roots in cultural and social traditions that expect the community to reach out, to be supportive and to nurture the healing of those who have been wounded by trauma. These traditions foster healing and recovery from psychologically distressful experiences by promoting narrative, interpersonal and community responses to the problem. In addition, these traditions can inform us about ways we can prevent trauma and promote resiliency by fostering safe, stable and nurturing relationships. The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home project provides our college community with a new and innovative opportunity to support our students and foster their success.

The 2014 Samaritan Hospital Foundation Golf Classic honored the Welcome Johnny and Jane Home project by raising funds to make it possible for more volunteers to listen to more veterans, helping welcome those who have served our nation back into our community. The Foundation put together this video, highlighting the project and its organizers.

Welcome Johnny and Jane Home project Samaritan Hospital Foundation award recipient video from Ashland MHRB on Vimeo.

More information about the Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project is available in the following documents:
The Welcome Johnny & Jane Home project - Brochure
The Welcome Johnny & Jane Home Project - Flyer

 

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