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posted February 25, 2013

Wartime deployment takes a toll on the service member and family members on the home front, with multiple deployments often causing additional stress, disrupting family roles and routines, and impacting parenting at a time when there is decreased support within the family.

Since 2008, Navy Special Warfare (NSW) has been using the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) program called FOCUS (Families Over Coming Under Stress) to provide assistance to its forces, spouses and their children. While BUMED is the executive agent for all program funds, the program is available to all... Read more

posted January 11, 2013

Funding will support community-based implementation of the FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) Family Resiliency Training™ program customized to female veterans and their families of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) residing in Los Angeles, County, California.

The UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center has been awarded a $100,000 grant over two years from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul... Read more

posted January 7, 2013

A growing body of evidence links the ability to be resilient in the face of life's stresses with success and happiness, and points to the importance of childhood experience in determining our ability to cope in adulthood. 

Intelligence is an undeniably important factor in predicting lifelong success, but it's not the only ingredient in the secret sauce for building a satisfying life. Researchers are increasingly finding that another, less obvious characteristic may be just as important: psychological resilience, generally defined as the ability to cope with and thrive through life'... Read more

posted January 4, 2013

Team members from Families Overcoming Under Stress (FOCUS) taught FOCUS skills, read books and participated in crafts with the children at the Child Development Center (CDC) on board Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Dec. 20. The Gulfport United Service Organizations (USO) joined FOCUS for the event, donating teddy bears that were passed out to the children during the event as Christmas gifts.

Once each month the FOCUS group visits CDC to teach the children a FOCUS skill centering on ways of dealing with emotions, to read a story and to participate in an activity.

... Read more
posted December 21, 2012

I started my morning yesterday by paying the bus fare of a young man who didn’t have change.  I told him that he could pay me back another time.  He said if he didn’t see me again, he would pay it forward.  Even better! 

I shared his response with my colleagues at the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center, and we were inspired to continue to pay it forward.

Following a tragedy as devastating as the Sand Hook Elementary School shootings, we find ourselves facing difficult questions.  How could so many young lives be lost in such a horrific way?  Will I ever feel safe... Read more

posted December 6, 2012

Our FOCUS Project and Welcome Back Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Lina Berrio, MPH, is featured this month on the Military Pathways mental health blog.  Visit the post to learn more about the importance of communication in healthy relationships, and tips for you and your family to improve your communication every day.

Read the Full Post Here


posted November 26, 2012

Jodi Salamino, LPC, NCC, Family Resiliency Trainer for Project FOCUS, was featured this month on the Office of National Drug Control Policy's substance abuse blog.

Jodi describes how a family, struggling with poor communication and uncontrollable emotions, came to the FOCUS program for support, and learned practical communication, emotional regulation, and problem-solving skills to overcome challenges and prevent substance abuse:

Recently, a family came to my office struggling with poor communication and uncontrollable emotions.  Both parents felt exhausted... Read more

posted November 6, 2012

For the 72 wounded warriors served by UCLA Operation Mend, the scars of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq are painfully obvious. Disfigured faces, missing limbs and other devastating injuries bring them to the Reagan UCLA Medical Center for reconstructive surgery and specialized treatment under the program created in 2007 by UCLA Health Sciences and the U.S. military.

Not so obvious is the toll these... Read more
posted October 30, 2012

On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center’s Early Childhood Core, under the direction of Blair Paley, Ph.D., hosted a conference on relationship-based interventions for families.  With support provided by the Sol Leshin Program for Collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the meeting brought together senior leadership from the Los Angeles-based Center for Reflective Parenting (CRP), BGU Women’s Center for Health Studies and Promotion, and the UCLA... Read more

posted October 18, 2012

Writes TIME's Mark Thompson:

The divide between U.S. society and the American military reveals itself in strange places – children’s classrooms, for example. More than 1 million military kids face unusual challenges: they haven’t been in a specific school long enough to play sports, for example, or their constant moves – many attend nine different schools before college – cause them to lag behind their classmates.

There are programs, such as FOCUS — Families OverComing Under Stress — created by experts at UCLA, that... Read more