Americans are feeling the effects of COVID-19 on employment and some military spouse employment experts have seen early data that the fallout from the pandemic will create more challenges for military spouses. And where there is employment stress, other life stressors follow.
So the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program is fielding a new survey to better understand the issue. The Military Spouse Employment and Wellbeing Survey, done in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Starbucks looks to capture how military spouse employment challenges are impacting the wellbeing and mental wellness of spouses.
"This research seeks to understand a topic that there is very little current research on, which is the mental health and wellbeing of military spouses as it relates to their employment experiences (including their unemployment and underemployment experiences)," HoH Senior Advisor, for Research and Innovation Hisako S. Sonethavilay said in a statement.
"It also seeks to understand the extent to which available resources that are intended to support spouses on their employment journey are well suited for or in need of reform. The questions found within this survey were developed to gain insight into topic areas that we believe best lead to this understanding."
Results from the survey should be available in October and will help both employers and military spouses navigate the next stage of employment post-pandemic.
Why should you take it?
First of all, surveys are important in making change. We know this, it frustrates us, but they're still important.
This research will help bring our stories to decision-makers and employers. By sharing the challenges military spouses face in regard to employment, we can start making changes.
By taking the survey there's also a chance you could win a $200 Amazon gift card. If that's the reason you decide to participate, we won't judge.
Who should take it?
All military spouses, including those of National Guard and Reserve, are encouraged to take this survey, even if they aren't currently employed. Also, spouses of veterans who retired or separated within the last three years are encouraged to take this survey.
What are they asking?
This survey, like many others, has a short demographics section and then talks about employment status. It asks about total and recent permanent changes of station (PCS), including any overseas moves and moves within the last year. Additional questions about deployments are also included.
"The questions were developed by Hiring Our Heroes' Research and Innovation team in collaboration with the Institute for Veteran and Military Families at Syracuse University," said Sonethavilay.
To get to the heart of some of these stressors, there are questions about mental and physical health, including diagnoses and some questions about how you view yourself. The survey is completely anonymous -- even if you want entry for the gift card.
One of the questions specifically addresses the current pandemic, asking military spouses how COVID-19 has impacted employment.
The survey is open to all military spouses from now until July 10th and should take about 15 minutes. You can take the survey here.
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