Military families face unique life challenges. They rely on support to help them face things such as military moves and transitions, deployments and separations, or injuries.
In today’s tech-centered world, the military makes it easy to help families find resources to conquer challenges and build resilience. It can be as simple as an internet search.
Resources for Families
When service members enlist, their families are directly affected. Whether the family member is a spouse, parent, sibling, adult child or caretaker of a service member, it's important for them to find ways to stay resilient.
The Real Warriors Campaign is a public awareness campaign that encourages service members and veterans with mental health concerns to get help. The campaign can help military families learn to:
- Create family plans and checklists
- Adjust to the phases of deployment
- Help loved ones through combat stress
- Stay aware of personal care and attentiveness
- Build family resilience
Families can also find support on-the-go with mobile applications from the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. From parenting tips to mindfulness exercises and stress management through breath work, these apps can help you get through a variety of life stressors.
And for those preparing for a service member’s return home, AfterDeployment is an online resource that can help families reunite following deployments. Assessments and videos cover topics including:
Resources for Children
Military children often face adult issues at a young age. Moving and changing schools is routine. A parent’s injury is also a real concern – whether it’s physical or psychological. Parents can help their kids adapt. Sesame Street for Military Families uses familiar characters to explain military challenges to young children. The site also has a section for parents to learn about potential challenges. Parents or caregivers can:
- Download tools that help boost their child’s self-expression.
- Identify potential signs of grief in their children.
- Help children cope with deployments and reunions.
- Find ways to make moving a positive experience.
- Maintain a sense of comfort with daily routines.
Help for Preteens and Teens
Another great website, Military Kids Connect, offers tools for children ages 6-17. The site breaks up its resources by age group and has separate sections for parents and teachers. Military Kids Connect helps teens:
- Develop personal accountability and awareness.
- Address physical injury.
- Connect with other military kids.
- Share personal stories and experiences.
- Talk through tough topics.
Support for Service members
Family ties can go beyond bloodlines or marriage. Service members in a cohesive unit share bonds of loyalty, commitment and protection. Single service members or those deployed and away from family can turn to their unit for support. Service members can build their social resilience by:
- Understanding their personal strengths to benefit others.
- Communicating clearly and actively listening.
- Spending downtime with friends and colleagues.
- Looking out for friends and reaching out when someone needs to talk.
- Taking on leadership roles whenever possible.
Additionally, chaplains provide service members with moral, spiritual and social development. They offer counseling to help enrich marriage, manage anger, and help make the transition from combat operations to home life.
For more resources on building resilience or anything specific to psychological health or traumatic brain injury, the DCoE Outreach Center is available 24/7 by phone at 866-966-1020, email or live chat.