Community / Social Justice

Creating Virtual Connections for Veterans

Denise Dailey, M.A. ’16, a Chicago Campus Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) student, oversees program and outreach services for R.I.S.E. (Resources. Information. Support. Empowerment.), a mental health program for veterans on Chicago’s West Side run by A Safe Haven Foundation. The residential facility provides emergency housing, clinical services, and community activities for veterans who are experiencing homelessness.

The program also organizes social activities to build community and connection among the veterans. These social supports are instrumental in promoting their mental health and healing, said Dailey, a graduate of the Online Campus military psychology program.

The pandemic has brought challenges for the program—but it has also been an opportunity to innovate. Dailey helped roll out telehealth services, as well as virtual activities and social opportunities. They are providing clinical services virtually for veterans who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as support for all of the program participants who are affected by isolation during this time.

“Building this new care model has brought people together,” Dailey said. “It has brought the veterans together.”

“All of my experiences at Adler University and in communities has helped me gain more tools to work with veterans,” Dailey said. “I ultimately want to open a series of residential facilities, transitional housing units, for veterans that have on-site clinical wrap-around services.”

 

Meet Christian Filice, a Vancouver Campus student who is creating online wellness tools and art activities to help vulnerable youth cope with anxiety during the pandemic.