While we all feel survey fatigue from time to time, you should definitely take the one the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) launched this week.
MFAN's survey covers typical topics, such as health care, employment, finances, children and community connection. But what sets it apart this year is an expanded section based on key issues identified through its peer-leader network. Here, you'll see questions about things we don't often read or talk about: food insecurity, access to mental health crisis resources, alcohol use and intimate partner violence in the military community.
MFAN's senior director of research and program evaluation, Dr. Shelley Kimball, explained why the survey is different: "MFAN's research is unique because of the qualitative approach. Our researchers take the time to hear from respondents in their own words. Then, through a scientific coding process, we are able to report not only on the responses to questions, but the relationships between different facets of life."
Responses are anonymous, and participants are not asked for their names or email addresses. Just as MFAN did with its privatized military housing survey, some geographic information is collected so that it can give local and state leaders actionable information that they can integrate into their strategic approach for supporting military and veteran families, Executive Director Shannon Razsadin said.
Razsadin encourages all military-connected individuals to take the survey, especially military spouses.
"Research is the starting point of everything we do at MFAN," she said. "This survey is launched every other year so that we have the time to effectively act on what we learn through partnerships, optimization of programs, and building new resources when true gaps are found. We are honored to do this work, and we are incredibly grateful to the families who take the time to share their lives with us. We promise this is time well spent."
We couldn't agree more. Join the MFAN movement, and take the survey between now and Nov. 11, when it closes.
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