Docs urged to address military kids’ mental health



Military kids are affected by the absence of one parent in the home.  As hard as this is nothing can be the awful feelings of having a parent that passed away while serving our country.  More than 2 million children have been affected by the military deployment of at least one parent within the past decade, and thousands have had to cope with a parent’s death or traumatic injury, experts say.

How are these children being assisted with mental health services?

Pediatricians and mental health providers should make this issue.   Dr. Beth Ellen Davis, a pediatrician and retired U.S. Army colonel. “I could think of no better way to honor our service members than to help providers take care of their children.”  Military families struggle a lot with coping with the distance between them and their families.  They could benefit from mental health service to help with their family dynamics.

When a parent goes to war this is very stressful for the children.  It is important to look at the consequences associated with deployment .Further help may be needed if the stress becomes excessive. Without treatment, children are at risk for behavioral, social and emotional problems.  Early childhood distress can even affect brain development, David said. “We want to get them help, support and resources as soon as possible if it appears that a child is not handling the stress as a child commonly would.”

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