iPeer: A Sociotechnical Systems Approach for Helping Veterans with Civilian Reintegration
Format of Original
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (DEV '15)
The challenges of civilian reintegration can adversely impact the life of veterans. Research shows that peer-mentorship can be very effective for mental health problems. Dryhootch (DH), a veteran-led community organization, has successfully implemented a peer-mentor program for veterans going through civilian reintegration. This article proposes iPeer, a mobile-based augment for the DH peer-mentor program. iPeer tracks the status of the veterans in real-time and presents the status report to veteran mentors (VM) who also went through similar experiences. The participating veterans are assessed semiweekly on their social functioning and risk taking behaviors through surveys. Our major contributions include, (1) proposing a mobile social-computing support for remote and after-hour access of socio-interactive care for veterans going through civilian reintegration, (2) identifying four key issues that need to be addressed when designing such a sociotechnical system for veterans and (3) presenting qualitative evidence about the impact of the technology-augmented process on target-users' experience.