Connection in a Time of Social Distancing: How You Can Help (Yourself and Others)

“Leadership can’t depend on emails or written words. Leaders are not potted plants, and at all levels they must be constantly out at the critical points doing whatever is required to keep their teams energized, especially when everyone is exhausted.”
General James Mattis

As more and more people across the country are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), we know there is an abundance of information flooding your inboxes. As our physical routines are broken and movements are more restricted, it can lead us to becoming trapped in information overload and disconnected from relationships that provide so much of what we need in times like these. But now more than ever, we need one another to most effectively navigate through challenging and uncertain times. Even though the military community is comprised of the most resilient individuals, like everyone else in our global society, our lives are not immune to the effects of this health pandemic. The need to reach outward to people in our military communities is of vital importance.

We want our eMentor family to know that during this difficult time, we are here for you now and always.

We will continue to support you in creating or maintaining your mentoring relationships with thousands of mentors and protégés who stand at the ready to connect in service to one another. As always, we will continue to work diligently to provide and share relevant content that helps you connect into a community of support and resources that advance your life forward during this unprecedented time. If you or your organization would like to provide relevant content or resources to our members, please contact us here.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, requests for mentoring have increased 35% in eMentor as protégés seek help and connection in navigating professional and personal challenges. We expect this trend to continue with new requests for mentoring and a rise in new protégés joining eMentor as a result of the health crisis and its second and third order effects impacting our economy and labor market.

If you are already paired in a mentoring relationship, be proactive in reaching out to your existing protégé(s) and continue to be responsive to requests for mentoring from new protégés. If you know of an individual who has considered becoming a mentor, but has not yet taken the next step, please encourage them do so now. We seek additional mentors who are capable of providing guidance and support to our military community during these unique times and well into the future. Mentors help to fill a critical need in providing personal guidance as well as career-specific, functional area information and career transition advice eMentor protégés seek. Become a mentor now.

For those in need of immediate, life-sustaining support, please look to TRICARE, VA Health Centers and these Mental Health Resources for healthcare related assistance. Additionally, the service’s relief societies are available for consultations should you find yourself in a financial bind: Army Relief Society, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society and Air Force Aid Society. If you need assistance with finding shelter, please visit these Services for Homeless Veterans.  Additionally, be sure to regularly monitor guidance from your local and state governments as well as the CDC’s website for more information regarding COVID-19 at

For those seeking connection to a community of mentoring support, consider joining eMentor. eMentor was designed by the military community for the military community and has successfully connected over 13,000 service members, veterans, reservists and military spouses to meaningful mentoring resources and networks of support. There is no fee to join and all service eras, ranks and duty statuses are welcomed. Flexible mentoring and connection options are available that include:
• One-on-One Long-Term Mentoring Connections
• Single “Flash Mentoring” Sessions
• Group Mentoring
• Q&A Discussion Forums
• Webinar Series

We want to hear from you about the challenges you are facing, or solutions you’ve created, in the wake of COVID-19. Are there best practices you have adopted or good-news stories that we can share with the eMentor community? Is there information you need help finding on any issues that have emerged, or are difficult to access, as a result of COVID-19? Let us know. You can reach out to us via email and on social media.

How we choose to take care of one another, how we connect with one another and the deliberate actions we choose to take in these moments are critical to how we overcome this momentary setback. We are in this together.

Nikki Schuler
Director, eMentor