Charleston-based nonprofit organization Vantage Point Foundation (VPF) is pleased to announce the development of a new tool for evaluating and serving post-9/11 veterans, developed in partnership with the CDC Foundation (CDCF), through the Veteran Suicide Prevent Evaluation project (VSPE).
The tool, Whole Health Profile Tool (WHPT), is an instrument used to measure the effectiveness of VPF’s programming in upstream suicide prevention. Through the support of the CDC Foundation, VPF analyzed existing data collection tools to identify gaps relevant to veterans’ health as a whole. A new survey was created to formally collect data on the following elements: (1) Moving the Body: Energy & Flexibility; (2) Food & Drink: Nourishing & Fueling; and (3) Recharge: Sleep and Refresh. The new survey, along with existing survey tools, makes up the WHPT.
The WHPT was piloted during VPF’s most recent Leadership Development Course, which took place in April 2021. It was found to be an effective way to build support for individual veterans through VPF’s Veteran Transition Program, and ensures neither the veteran nor the organization gets stuck in an ineffective loop. VPF believes the project will significantly improve the lives of individual veterans and their spouses, while giving the organization the data it needs to continuously improve its programming, which supports veterans across South Carolina.
“That reference document of my results gave me an idea of where I self assessed in each category. It was a good rudder check on some of the continual work I’m going to need to engage with to better balance things out and grow into a better person,” said Paul, U.S. Army veteran and participant in VPF’s spring 2021 Leadership Development Course.
The evaluation plan was funded through a grant with the CDC Foundation as part of the VSPE project. VPF was one of just seven organizations from throughout the United States to receive the grant in year three of the project. Prior to receiving the grant, VPF supported veterans and created improvised support plans on a case-by-case basis. As a result, veterans and their support team often found themselves in a reactionary position, which limited progress. The WHPT now considers the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences in veterans’ lives from the very beginning of the transition process, which paves the way for more holistic and effective healing and transition.
“One of the biggest benefits it has helped me with is keeping me grounded,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Sean. “There have been many times over the past few months where my anxiety has taken me high to the right in the red. Being able to recognize what my baseline is supposed to be has helped me reorient and stay more focused.”
VPF intends to again implement the new tool at its next Leadership Development Course, which takes place August 5-8, 2021.