VSN Social Club

Fun, Supportive, & Educational Peer-Led Groups

This series of online and in-person meet-ups provides participants with a space to connect with peers across of variety of topics, share their fears and concerns, offer support and problem solve, learn new tips and tools, and ultimately, create community and lasting friendships.  All of our social clubs are designed to remain flexible and adapt to our participants' needs as they change over time. Clubs are led by peers and can include socials, casual check-ins, topic-driven discussions, workshops, resource support, expert presentations, and more!

Eligibility for these sessions varies by event, but this program is designed for those connected to the military and veteran population, including military and veteran spouses, committed partners, caregivers, family members, services members, veterans, and individuals divorced or widowed from a service member or veteran.

We want the VSN Social Club program to be driven by your wants and needs, so if you have any suggestions for social club topics, please email vsn@austin.utexas.edu with your suggestions! 

The Importance of Social Meet-Ups

Military and veteran family life brings with it a unique set of experiences, challenges, and support needs. As members of military and veteran families ourselves, we understand how unique your experiences are, and how oftentimes, when sharing those experiences with your civilian family, friends, and even service providers, you may be met with confusion, misunderstanding, inappropriate questions, or worse, judgment. The truth is, that oftentimes, they just don’t get it, and as a result, they may not be able to provide the support and understanding you’re looking for. This can lead to feeling alone in your experience, and make things harder for you and your family.  

One thing we know about military and veteran culture is that community is key! In active-duty life, that strong community of peer support is built right in for our service members, and some support and community may be available for spouses and families as well. Unfortunately, as families transition into post-service life, that community becomes harder to find. As social workers, and peers ourselves, we understand the value and benefit of strong supportive communities that offer peer-based guidance and understanding to help address the unique challenges of military and post-service family life.  We launched the VSN Social Club program in April 2020 to be able to provide an opportunity for low-commitment, high-reward virtual and in-person peer-led groups and meet-ups, that provide the larger military and veteran-connected community with support when and how they need it!

Eligibility

Eligibility for these sessions varies by club and is determined by who the appropriate audience is for that club’s chosen topic. Social clubs may be open to military and veteran spouses, partners, caregivers, family members, service members, veterans, and individuals divorced or widowed from a service member or veteran. 

Upcoming Clubs

Social Clubs are currently being held both virtually and in person. Check out the calendar below to view our upcoming social clubs and register for the topics that interest you. New social clubs are being added weekly, and you can view the VSN Event Calendar to all of our offerings across programs.

Interested in one-on-one peer support?

The VSN is now offering Resiliency Check-Ins, which provide you the opportunity to receive virtual one-on-one support from our VSN Peer Leaders. While this is not a substitute for clinical therapy, it gives you a chance to receive the one-on-one support that may not be possible in group settings. If you are a military/veteran spouse, partner, family member, or divorced or widowed from a service member or veteran, consider signing up today!

Become a Social Club Leader

Being a true peer-to-peer program, we cannot do this work without incredible and passionate volunteers to lead these groups. If you are connected to the military or veteran community in any way and would like to volunteer to lead a social club in your community, or virtually, please visit our Leadership Opportunities page to learn more about leader responsibilities and training, and apply today!

If you are not a member of the military or veteran-connected community but have a skill set that you would like to offer in a group or workshop setting to this community, please email vsn@austin.utexas.edu to discuss a possible collaboration.