The programs that are part of M-SPAN were developed to address the needs and challenges faced by National Guard and Reserve service members and their families throughout the deployment cycle. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have greatly increased the number of veterans returning home with combat exposure, reintegration issues, and psychiatric symptoms. National Guard and Reserve service members and their families face additional challenges. They prepare for deployment on a part-time basis while still meeting their obligations in their home communities. Unlike active duty service members and families, they do not return to military installations with access to military health services or peers. Post-deployment, they find themselves separated from the friendship and support of fellow service members and other military families. In many cases, their home communities may lack the services and resources to address the reintegration issues that might arise.
The M-SPAN Program Team from the University of Michigan Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry has drawn on experience and expertise in the areas of outreach and access; peer-to-peer programs; family, marital and parenting interventions; and support groups to develop and tailor each of our programs. Many collaborators were instrumental in the development of the M-SPAN programs. These include the Michigan Army National Guard Leadership and Yellow Ribbon Program, Michigan State University, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are grateful for their ongoing support, expertise, and leadership.
The M-SPAN programs were originally developed as part of the Welcome Back Veterans initiative, funded by the McCormick Foundation and Major League Baseball Charities.
We gratefully acknowledge the men and women serving our country abroad and at home for their service, commitment, and sacrifices.