InDependent Celebrates a Decade of Empowering and Supporting Military Spouses Through Wellness and Mental Health Initiatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2023
InDependent, the sole nonprofit organization dedicated to exclusively supporting the mental health and holistic well-being of military spouses across all branches of the Armed Forces, is proud to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Over the past decade, InDependent has emerged as an innovative leader for military spouse wellness, filling a crucial gap in support amidst a landscape dominated by organizations serving military service members and their families.
“InDependent was founded by five military spouses in 2013 upon the belief that with the right structure and support, healthy behavior will grow, inspire others, and strengthen the military community. Our all-volunteer staff has carried that vision forward to positively impact more than 35,000 military spouses globally, ” said Evie King, the 2023 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year and president of InDependent. “The unique challenges facing modern military families require unique solutions. InDependent is steadfast in its commitment to continue focusing squarely on the holistic well-being of the military spouse.”
For 10 years, Independent has been on an important mission to make wellness accessible, providing military spouses with the resources, education, and support they need to take control of their health and well-being. Significant milestones include:
- Launched the first online summit within the military community in 2015 at a time when virtual events were unheard of. The InDependent Wellness Summit has since been hosted 8 times, reaching over 11,000 military spouses virtually across 5 continents
- Over 35,000 military spouses impacted through summits, workshops, informational articles, and meaningful connections. In 2022, 93% program participants said they learned something they could use right away and 91% said they would attend another InDependent program because they feel encouraged, refreshed, and enlightened after attending
- 480% volunteer growth
Building upon these accomplishments and educational content, InDependent has introduced two groundbreaking programs:
- InDependent Wellness Directory: A searchable online directory featuring 180 culturally competent mental health professionals, recognizing that tailored counseling is essential for addressing the unique stressors and effects of military life.
- Fuel the Homefront: As identified in a recent DoD survey, 1 in 4 military families face food insecurity. This innovative program tackles nutrition, food insecurity, and the rising cost of groceries by equipping military families with meal planning skills, smart shopping strategies, and guidance on maximizing food budgets while prioritizing health. InDependent has partnered with individuals and organizations, including the Department of Defense and Military Family Advisory Network, to impart these essential skills to military spouses.
The organization plans to expand the Wellness Directory and offer a series of online wellness courses in the near future as well.
In February 2023, the DoD released findings that show that supporting military families is a critical element of well-being and effective suicide prevention among service members. These findings underscore the pivotal role of military spouses in supporting their service members’ careers and reaffirms the significance of investing in their health and wellness in support of military readiness. Military spouses are twice as likely to report experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression than their civilian counterparts, and 23% report emotional or mental health issues as the biggest stressors in their families (Blue Star Families, 2021). They are also more likely to have difficulty sleeping and to engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more information about InDependent and its programs, please visit www.in-dependent.org or contact Mara Lieb, email@example.com.