Supporting the Mental Health of Military Children during the Month of the Military Child

April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child, a time to honor and celebrate the resilience and sacrifices of the children of military families. These young ones face unique challenges, including frequent moves, deployment of a parent, and adjustment to new environments. As we highlight the Month of the Military Child, it's essential to shine a light on the importance of supporting the mental health of these children, particularly in the context of privatized military housing.

Privatized military housing has been a topic of concern in recent years, with reports of substandard living conditions affecting the well-being of military families, including their children. A study conducted by the RAND Corporation found that issues such as mold, pest infestations, and poor maintenance in privatized military housing can have a detrimental impact on the mental health of military children. The stress of living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions can exacerbate existing mental health challenges or contribute to the development of new ones, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children.

It is crucial to address the mental health needs of military children and provide them with the support they deserve. Here are some resources that can help military families and their children during the Month of the Military Child and beyond:

  1. National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) - NCTSN provides a range of resources and support for military children who may be experiencing trauma or stress due to their unique circumstances. They offer evidence-based interventions, educational materials, and access to trained professionals. Military families can call 1-800-745-5115 or visit www.nctsn.org for more information.
  2. Military OneSource - As a comprehensive resource for military families, Military OneSource offers confidential counseling and support services for children and adolescents, including mental health resources. Families can access these services by visiting www.militaryonesource.mil or calling 1-800-342-9647.
  3. National Military Family Association (NMFA) - NMFA provides a wide range of resources and support for military families, including information on mental health services for military children. Families can visit www.militaryfamily.org or call 1-800-260-0218 to access their services and support.
  4. Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) - MFLCs are licensed counselors who provide short-term, non-medical counseling to military children and their families. They are available at no cost and can offer support for various mental health concerns. Families can inquire about MFLC services through their installation's Family Readiness Center or Military and Family Support Center.
  5. TRICARE - TRICARE is the healthcare program for military families and offers mental health services for children and adolescents, including counseling and therapy. Families can visit www.tricare.mil/mentalhealth or contact their TRICARE regional contractor for more information on accessing mental health services.

In addition to seeking professional support, there are steps that military families can take to promote positive mental health for their children. These include open communication, maintaining routines and stability, fostering social connections, and encouraging healthy coping skills such as exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques.

As we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, let's remember the importance of supporting the mental health of these young heroes. By advocating for safe and healthy living conditions in privatized military housing, and accessing available mental health resources, we can help ensure that military children receive the care and support they need to thrive. Let's continue to honor and support the resilience of military children, not just during the Month of the Military Child, but throughout the year. They deserve our unwavering support and appreciation for their sacrifices. #MonthOfTheMilitaryChild #MilitaryChildMentalHealth

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram