Last modified on February 17th, 2023 at 08:34 pm

You’ve helped others.
Now it’s time to care for yourself.

Connecting you online with peers who understand.
Programs for Veterans, First Responders, and anyone who needs to talk.

VOA|ReST 4 Veterans

VOA|ReST 4 First Responders

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VOA|ReST for Anyone

What is ReST; 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.

Watch our video to learn more.

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

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

Connect with up to 10 other peers to share, reflect and remain resilient and healthy

I learned that during this time in the world, everyone is dealing with a stressful situation, and just a simple sentence a person says can help someone.

– Jen, ICU Nurse

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. 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.

VOA|ReST enables participants to share their distress with others and stay resilient. Over 82% of Participants say that they feel significantly calmer and more peaceful after group sessions.  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 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 resilience is maintained when people can 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 to restore one’s integrity and maintain important relationships. Without that time to reflect on and process moral distress, accept limitations about things one cannot control, and find life lessons in negative experiences, remaining grounded in what matters most can become increasingly difficult.

For more information, please contact rest@voa.org


Moral Injury: Resilience and Strength Everyday

The Shay Moral Injury Center and VOA|ReST recommends the following links to articles, practices, and meditations to help cultivate emotional resilience and tend to one’s wellbeing in daily life. We are grateful to our partners and linked organizations for offering accessible and effective resources that can be practiced individually and in groups.

Stress Relief


Photo by Jay Castor



Photo by Vero Photoart

Resilience on the Front Lines


For frontline workers

Practices for a Meaningful Life


UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and HopeLab.

Photo by Greg Rakozy

Mindful Self-Compassion Practices


These are based on scientific research and established teaching methods.

Photo by S Migaj

Guided Meditations


Free mindfulness meditations; offered in 15 languages.

Photo by Harli Marten

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