Jaine Darwin and Kenneth Reich
Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009
Darwin and Reich coordinate free psychological counseling to families of U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard members deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait.
Jaine Darwin, former president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis, and Kenneth Reich, former president of the Psychoanalytic Couples and Family Institute of New England, recognize the potential devastating impact on families of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That insight led them in 2004 to form Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists, which provides free psychological support and related services to relatives. Darwin and Reich feel that while the stress a family faces during deployment can be overwhelming, the difficulties relatives encounter when soldiers return are often just as profound. The organization addresses the increasing problem of suicide by offering educational programs to train family members to identify veterans at risk. Volunteer mental health professionals lead family support sessions; provide individual counseling services; and refer family members to other licensed professionals outside the organization’s network if additional assistance is needed. SOFAR volunteers have interacted with approximately 10,000 family members of soldiers and veterans. Says Reich: “We have the constant satisfaction of the gratitude we hear expressed by the families with whom we work. This doesn’t pay the bills, but it certainly feeds our souls.”