Support from behind the screen

10 January 2023

Online services can bridge the divide for veterans who are unable to access support in person due to barriers such as geographical location and service-related mental health impacts.

Online services can bridge thdivide for veterans who are unable to access support in person due to barriers such as geographical location and service-related mental health impacts.

 

The ability to connect with a community of like-minded people, while feeling safe, has significant benefits in a veteran’s recovery journey. However, in-person support is not practical for every veteran. 

 

Online activities can provide a safe space for veterans and family members to connect with each other and build strong authentic relationships. 

 

At Mates4Mates, the online services team have seen veterans and family members who were once unable to leave the house are now independent and driving themselves to appointments.

 

We have seen people find new hobbies and passions that have reinvigorated their lives. We have seen smiles and so much laughter,” explains Steve, the Regional Manager for Online Services.

 

From then on 

Starting with two weekly activities in April 2021, coffee catch-ups and trauma-informed yoga sessions, the online timetable has grown over the past 18 months. Activities in 2022 included a range of creative workshops as well as a second weekly coffee catch-up that is more suitable for veterans located in Western Australia. 

 

‘Jamie’s Ministry of Food’ cooking course received the greatest attendance, with the ‘Introduction to Photography’ activity always a fan favourite, booking out within mere hours. The monthly ‘Trivia Night’ also draws a crowd, with teams designing their own t-shirts and hats just for the occasion.

How it works behind the scenes

Designed as live and interactive experiences, the good news is that you only need an internet browser to access Mates4Mates online services. Behind the scenes though, the high-tech gear is required. 

 

The more complex activities include multiple cameras for streaming, camera stands to get the best angles, and video mixing desks, microphones and studio lighting. 

“All of this is to try to put veterans and family members ‘in the room’ with us,” adds Steve. 

Online services in 2023

In 2023, the Mates4Mates online team will be delivering its usual roster of classic activities, as well as introducing some exciting new ones. Be sure to check out the online ‘Events’ page, or the online calendar, to see what’s coming up.

 

If you’d like to get involved with online activities and programs with Mates4Mates, call the team on 1300 4 MATES or email onlinefrc@mates4mates.org.

Tags:
  • Social connection
  • Veterans
  • Partners and families

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