Partnering with Operation RSF
Changing lives with your passion of physical activity.
Let's start off with the most common question we get, "How much does it cost to partner?" It is free, 100% free. We believe in our mission but we also know that we are unable to reach out to everyone in need without partners who are committed to the mission and passionate about helping people. Depending on your commitment level we have three levels of commitment that you can choose from, each has its own benefits depending on your time availability and your willingness to help.
2020 is going to be a big year as we roll out the CERTIFIED PARTNER program which includes a certification process after participating in a recorded webinar. The certified partner is a title that will be noted on our site's interactive map where participants can search to find the partners closest to their locations, or where they travel. The certification will allow you to stand apart from the rest showing that you have committed to educating yourself on the science behind Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), communication methods, and the science relating to how physical activity impacts mental health. We are extremely excited about this next step in the growth of our partnerships and offering more resources to participants in seeking out assistance.
In order to become a PARTNER, we require you to first reach out to us regarding your willingness to partner and filling out a simple form which is then followed by a phone interview with a staff member of Operation RSF. The phone interview is an opportunity to discuss the mission, answer any lingering questions, and get you started with tips from our own lessons learned. The initial requirement is that if you own a gym you are a certified coach (e.g. CPT, CSCS, TSAC-F, CF-LVL1, etc.) and have a physical location where you coach regularly. If you are an activity club (cycling, running, hiking, rucking, etc.), you must be an organized and named club that meets regularly and have methods for offering accountability, motivation & encouragement, and community for individuals looking to use physical activity to combat their symptoms of PTS.
An AMBASSADOR is for someone who wants to be proactive in spreading the mission of Operation RSF, wants to receive the partnership newsletters full of the latest research on physical activity and mental health, but is not a coach or does not work in a training facility. Ambassadors follow the same process as becoming a partner by contacting us about their interest, filling out the form, and taking part in a phone interview.
All commitment levels receive support from Operation RSF with regards to developing research-based products for their specific outreach needs, a monthly newsletter specific to applying this knowledge, and access to the "Team Room" where partners and ambassadors can find the in-depth research, methods for outreach, and a collection of knowledge to help them be more effective at reaching their communities and offering the support needed to see a positive impact in the well-being of their athletes.
If this is free, what are our expectations?
You're the action arm of Operation RSF in your local community. Operation RSF will provide you with training, a curriculum for your staff, support to answer questions, a monthly newsletter covering the latest research, and promotional tools to help you spread the word about your commitment to Operation RSF as well as spreading the word about your upcoming events. All that we require of you is for you to continue your passion for coaching and being willing and accepting of individuals coming to you in search of support as they start their journey.
We expect you to fulfill the four pillars of Operation RSF by offering:
Accountability - Make sure they show up to train. Individuals diagnosed with PTSD are more likely to be sedentary than the general population and building new routines around physical activity can be difficult. Let them know you are looking forward to seeing them and get to know them.
Encouragement & Motivation - Help them find their passion and in turn increase their intrinsic motivation to train. This is different for each individual but find what motivates them and get them moving. Ask if they need an ear to talk to and truly listen without judgment and with acceptance. If they are taking part in the 4 or 10-week challenge, ask them how they are doing and help keep them on track for success.
Community - Introduce them to your gym community, get them involved and help them feel welcome! Many participants have recently separated from the military and are searching for their tribe, help them to get connected and feel welcome as they find their role and purpose again.
Combating the Stigma - One of the biggest missions of Operation RSF is to combat the stigma of mental health. The number of individuals seeking help pales in comparison to the ones who are not seeking help for fear of being judged, ridiculed, or outcasts from their community or jobs. Being labeled as having a mental health problem is a scary thought for many people and it hinders their willingness to reach out. Sharing research and information about mental health and the physical changes that occur in the body and brain is a great way to combat the stigma. If someone is willing to seek a doctor for a heart problem, why not seek help for a brain problem? We look to our partners to reach out to their local communities to help combat this stigma in order to open doors, and hearts, for people to reach out.
Beyond these expectations, it is up to you how far you want to take your commitment. We do not expect you to give out free memberships as it should be seen as an investment in themselves. By investing in a gym membership they add worth to their experience and are more likely to continue pursuing their goals. However, local outreach is a huge part of combating the stigma of mental health and finding ways to increase the activity levels of your community can help spread the word about living a healthier life both physically and mentally.
Interested or have additional questions? Fill out the form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to give out free memberships to those taking part in the 4-Week Challenge or 10-Week Challenge?
No, in fact, we recommend that you do not offer free memberships as investing in membership can increase the perceived importance of following through which can potentially increase the individual's intrinsic motivation to persevere.
- How much does it cost to partner?
FREE! We ask that you fill out a partnership form and commit to offering accountability, encouragement & motivation, and community to those taking part in the Programs or seeking to use exercise to gain control of their symptoms. After your application form is accepted you will receive a phone call interview which will allow us to get to know you better and give you an opportunity to ask any clarifying questions about the mission of Operation RSF. Once the interview is over and you get the thumbs up, your business is added to our interactive map and you will begin receiving the monthly newsletters.
- Are there any benefits to being a partner?
Besides helping people? Yes, we list your gym on our interactive maps, re-post social media posts and help spread the word on your upcoming events, and you receive a monthly newsletter covering the latest research on the benefits of exercise control the symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and TBI. You also become more marketable within your community as you share your partnership with an organization working to change the stigmas surrounding mental health. Research has shown that businesses who are seen as more charitable are more trusted by the general public which can help your gym gain greater credibility from incoming members. We recently started a "Team Page" which breaks the science down more and is only accessible for Partners and Ambassadors.
- Do you provide training for partnering businesses?
Every month we send out a newsletter with the latest research relating to physical activity and mental health. We are also working on developing a video series for our partners that will give tips and recommendations on everything related to the mission of Operation RSF to include: how to show support, combating the stigma, signs and symptoms to watch for, building accountability, and active listening.
-I coach / perform massage therapy/am a sport psychologist/counselor/etc. can I become a partner?
In 2020 we changed our partnering format to a 3 tier system which includes Certified Partners and Partners for gyms and coaches and Ambassadors for massage therapists, sport psychologists, and other professions who still work directly with our population but do not use physical activity as their primary means of interaction. We felt this was a better approach in order to maintain the focus on our mission while still connecting with individuals who are passionate about our mission and passionate about the community we are trying to help.
-I don't want to become a partner or ambassador, but I would like to help your mission. How can I do that?
We have partnered with gyms to host one-day fundraiser events which include a great outreach opportunity to the community. It is up to you how much you want to donate as part of your drop-in fee or other gyms have seen success in doing WODs for charity type events where the drop-in fee for that day is a donation towards Operation RSF. If you are local to Operation RSF (Southeastern, NC, Nashville area, TN) or within a reasonable distance we would love to come out and take part. Please use our contact page to let us know what you are planning when you are planning it, and we will help to promote your event and develop any promotional items you would like to have available relating to the mission.
If you are planning to do more of a fundraiser with a raffle at your business, please contact us so we can see how we can help. Thank you for your willingness to support the mission!
-I am involved with an activity club, should I become a partner or an ambassador?
If you are an official club, have regular meetings, and have an ability to provide accountability, motivation & encouragement, and community for individuals looking to benefit from physical activity, then you should apply to be a partner. If you are unable to meet any of those requirements then you should apply to become an ambassador.
-I am a yoga instructor, can I become a Partner?
As long as you maintain a yoga certification and have a location where you coach/instruct yoga you may sign up to become a partner and receive all of the benefits that coaches and gyms receive.