Resilience Strength Time (ReST)

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Connecting You Online with Peers Who Understand

Programs for Veterans, First Responders, and anyone who needs to talk

JOIN VOA | ReST 4 Veterans
JOIN VOA | ReST 4 First Responders

What is Resilience Strength Time?

VOA|ReST is a free, confidential, group process that supports emotional resilience in people struggling with isolation, fatigue, frustration, anxiety, and a sense of inadequacy or failure.

Sessions of up to ten participants are scheduled nearly every day, for an hour. People may attend alone or with others they trust. Peer facilitators guide the conversations, and as participants share difficult experiences and listen to each other, they feel understood, empathize with others, and recover a sense of commitment and gratitude for their relationships and work.



Peers are trained to be facilitators for one-hour group sessions nearly every day of the week.


Using online technology, connecting with peers is simple and free.


Connect with up to 10 other care workers to share, reflect and remain resilient and healthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst crisis faced by our society in a century. It has created great uncertainty and chaos that have left many feeling that they have lost control and struggling to find the time, support, and resources required to do their best. People can feel confused, frustrated, sad, worried, angry, or defeated. These responses of moral distress are, in fact, signs that people still deeply care, but their inner resources for resilience and empathy are at risk of depletion. Unlike physical exhaustion which can be helped with more sleep or a vacation, moral distress lingers and is best addressed by processing it with others.

Feelings of moral distress can be set aside in times of chaos, when focusing on the immediacy of the present emergency takes all people’s attention. But as that distress accumulates, self-confidence and moral resilience are compromised. VOA|ReST enables participants to share their distress with others and stay resilient. Participants describe it as being “a wonderful experience” and a way to “express the stress I feel and offer support to others.”

Developed by Volunteers of America, VOA | ReST uses trained peers to support other frontline workers experiencing feelings of moral distress, using skills and strategies developed in VOA’s evidence-based program for military veterans called Resilience Strength Training ™

What is moral distress?

Under extraordinary circumstances, the pace and load of work and life demands are relentlessly exhausting and disheartening, and people’s resilience can be seriously depleted. Moral distress happens when things go wrong, and it is felt in emotions such as sorrow, frustration, guilt, shame, humiliation, or despair. It can include anger and grief at personal failures and loss, or feelings of betrayal when those in authority fail to do the right thing in high stakes situations.

What is moral resilience?

Moral codes reflect what people love most, and feel most dedicated to defending in this world. Moral conscience is grounded in these codes, and it guides how people live out their most deeply held expectations of themselves and others.

Moral resilience is maintained when people are able to respond to ethical challenges, dilemmas, and chaos in ways that allow them to continue serving with their moral codes and a sense of worth intact. meaningful life. It involves handling complex, confusing, infuriating, and frustrating experiences with courage and determination, and reflecting on moral stresses and ethical challenges in order to restore one’s integrity and maintain important relationships. Without that time to reflect on and to process moral distress, to accept limitations about things that one cannot control, and to find life-lessons in negative experiences, remaining grounded in what matters most can become increasingly difficult.

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