By Jennifer Astion, American Red Cross Volunteer

Cheri Osler joined the Red Cross in 2020 and has a passion for using her skills to help support the military community.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s also Military Appreciation Month, and the Red Cross is strongly committed to both supporting mental health and supporting members of the Armed Forces and their families. Combining the two, the Red Cross trains licensed mental health professionals to volunteer and provide support to members of the military, veterans and their families. 

One of these volunteers is Cheri Osler, who joined the Red Cross in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Osler says she has a special interest in volunteering with Services to the Armed Forces because her son is a member of the Army National Guard. 

Osler joined the board of the Greater Inland Northwest Chapter and was then recruited to lead resiliency workshops for the military community. She has led workshops on stress solutions, effective communication, and anger management to members of the military and their families at multiple locations, including Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“I completed an extensive training program to become a workshop presenter. There was a three-day training that included practice teaching to the group and the instructors,” she said. “The Red Cross has done a great job with the training manual. It offers skills to pick from and uses research based on evidence. The data show these skills can help and make a difference for the participants.” 

The Red Cross training includes coping skills for adults, teens and children. “Part of my training was observing a workshop with children,” Osler said. “The curriculum includes fun activities that had the children jumping up and down and expressing their feelings.” She added the curriculum also addresses issues many teens face including anger, stress, and bullying.  

Osler has a private counseling practice and is the Associate Dean of Nursing at Spokane Community College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors skiing, swimming, biking, running, and now, being a Red Cross volunteer. “Working with active-duty military and their families has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” she explained.  

The Red Cross is actively recruiting volunteers who are licensed mental health professionals. If you are interested in volunteering, you can learn more about opportunities near you by going to redcross.org/volunteer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s