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Supporting Veteran Mental Health through Warriors Connect Project

October 10, 2018 3 minute Read by Kacie Kelly
Through the Warrior Wellness Alliance's latest effort, we hope to gain unprecedented insight into how post-9/11 veterans talk about the challenges they encounter to their well-being, and about the coping strategies, techniques, treatments, and support available to them.

Today is World Mental Health Day and just as I am every day, I’m proud of the work we are doing at the Bush Institute through our Military Service Initiative to support the mental health and well-being of our veterans. I’m especially proud of the innovative spirit that drives our programming. But today is special for all of us here at the Military Service Initiative. Along with all of our partners in the Warrior Wellness Alliance, we are announcing a new investment in research which we hope will improve and optimize the well-being of our post-9/11 warriors.

Through this new project, Warriors Connect, we are asking people to donate their social media information, so that scientists can begin to understand the connection between social media behaviors and mental health and well-being. We are undertaking this groundbreaking work with Qntfy, a company leading the way to identify innovative solutions at the intersection of behavioral health and data analytics. 

Through this effort, we will take steps to understand the linkages between the way people talk and behave online and the health outcomes they experience. Addressing the invisible wounds has been a strong focus of the work we do at the Bush Institute, and the step we are taking today adds another layer of information to inform solutions for our warrior families. 

Post-9/11 warriors bring exceptional value to the communities in which they live, work, and volunteer; but sometimes, mental health challenges create barriers that keep them from reaching their full potential. We know that when these warriors and their families are supported, they thrive and contribute to their communities in immeasurable ways. We hope that Warriors Connect will be a great complement to our existing work and will serve to advance innovations in public health for veterans and for Americans at large.

Our work in the Military Service Initiative has been rooted in collaboration, and Warriors Connect is no different. Along with our Warrior Wellness Alliance partners, we are reaching out to veterans and non-veterans alike to ask them to donate their social media information. You can donate your social media information beginning today at WarriorsConnect.OurDataHelps.Org


Author

Kacie Kelly
Kacie Kelly

Kacie Kelly oversees and manages policy, operational, and programmatic efforts on veteran health and well-being, including the Warrior Wellness Alliance.  She manages strategic efforts to promote the partnerships, collaboration, and alignment among organizations that are so crucial to fostering the health and well-being of post-9/11 Veterans.

Prior to this role, Kacie served as the National Director for Public-Private Partnerships in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office for Suicide Prevention where she was responsible for developing a comprehensive and integrated public health approach to prevent suicide among the 14 million Veterans not engaged in VA healthcare. Throughout her 15-year career with VA, she led innovative programs to serve more Veterans and their families through strategic partnerships within government and across public and private sectors.  In addition, she has had leading roles to promote military culture competence in the community, outreach efforts to reduce stigma associated with seeking mental healthcare, and to enhance provider proficiency in evidence-based mental health care.  She earned her Master of Health Sciences (MHS) at Louisiana State University and has a Graduate Certificate in Women in Public Policy and Politics from the University of Massachusetts - Boston. Kacie has also been an active volunteer in the New Orleans community where she served as a Commissioner on the BioDistrict Board of New Orleans and on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross.

Full Bio