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This Study Seeks to Help Military Survivors Move Through Grief

Soldiers hold folded American flags that will be present to family members. (Elizabeth Fraser/Arlington National Cemetery)
Soldiers hold folded American flags that will be present to family members. (Elizabeth Fraser/Arlington National Cemetery)

A new study looks to give military survivors help with grief while researching how officials can best support that population.

Dubbed "Stepping Forward in Grief," it's meant to build on the ongoing National Military Family Bereavement Study which examines the long term experiences of the families of the fallen as they move through loss.

After its 2015 start, that study has already turned up a variety of preliminary findings, including "that a large portion of participating bereaved military family members describe continued grief-related challenges, often years after the death of their loved ones," researchers said on the website.

Now through a new $3 million, four year grant from the Defense Department, researchers are now looking to test an online program to help military survivors work through and manage grief.

"This online program will be pilot-tested with content experts, community partners, and end users, and then be studied in a randomized controlled trial to test its effectiveness," the site says.

Researchers will be using the programs GriefSteps and Wellness Steps, they said in the release. They'll give information and suggest activities to help with grief, stress management and health, they said.

The study is open to direct family members of a service member killed on or after September 11, 2001 while serving in the military or as a direct result of their military service. Participants must be over 18, both speak and read English and have access to email and computer or smartphone.

You can apply for the study on the Stepping Forward in Grief application website.

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