Red Cross Offers Free Stress Reduction Workshop to Fort Riley Soldiers

Fort Riley, KS— The American Red Cross Serving Kansas on Friday was pleased to offer its Stress Reduction Workshop for the military on a large scale for the first time at Fort Riley.

The free workshops are led by trained mental health professionals who are Red Cross volunteers, and the Red Cross Fort Riley Service Center typically holds them at the USO twice a month for a maximum of 30 participants. A base chaplain approached leaders of the Red Cross Kansas and Oklahoma Region Service to the Armed Forces and International Services Division about offering the workshop on a larger scale.

“Military and veteran communities face unique circumstances, and the Red Cross wants to help give them the tools they need to manage the stress they feel on a daily basis. We are proud to serve soldiers at Fort Riley and happy that we could offer this workshop to so many of them at one time,” said Katrina Velarde, Service to the Armed Forces and International Services Regional Program Manager for the Red Cross of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Friday’s event was held outdoors on base at McCormick Park on the participating units’ foundational day. The Red Cross brought in facilitators from in and out of state to lead 10 smaller groups of soldiers in one-hour sessions on Friday morning, and 2nd Lt. Andrew Bullen said the skills soldiers learned will be put to good use.

“If a soldier’s saying, ‘Hey, I’ve been feeling really stressed out, I’ve been level 10 stress every day at work,’ that soldier and that leader can have that dialogue and make a game plan what they want to do or are going to do in the future in order to mitigate that,” Bullen said.

The units held a cookout afterward.

ASSETS AVAILABLE TO TELL THIS STORY The Red Cross has interviews and B-roll available if you are interested in sharing this story. Photos can also be made available.

  • Interview with 2nd Lt. Andrew Bullen
  • Interview with Carmen Stein, PhD, Red Cross facilitator
  • B-roll of event including small groups and cookout

Video can be downloaded via WeTransfer: Click here for B-roll | Click here for interview clips

The mission of the American Red Cross was born on the battlefield through Clara Barton’s care for Civil War soldiers. Today, we continue to serve the U.S. military community from the time a service member takes the oath to navigating life as a veteran. For more information about Service to the Armed Forces or to access programs for military families and veterans, visit www.redcross.org/saf.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.