Late Breaking News
Military Family Issues Come Under the Spotlight
It’s not just servicemembers who suffer war-related stresses, but it’s also their families. That was the message that Deborah Mullen, wife of Navy Adm Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered last week before an audience of military medical professionals.
Without any visible wounds of war to show, the stress of war on family members is not always obvious to the outside world, nor does it always make it into the mental health conversation.
Mullen reminded the audience that members of military families also experience depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Some spouses turn to alcohol, prescription drugs, and even suicide, she said.
Last week, the plight of military families received attention from the White House in a report it released called “Strengthening Our Military Families,” which outlined a government-wide effort to support military families.
The report acknowledged that military families are not immune to the stresses of deployment and pointed to a 2010 study that found an 11% increase in outpatient visits for behavioral health issues among a group of 3- to 8-year-old children of military parents and an increase of 18% in behavioral disorders and 19% in stress disorders when a parent was deployed.
The report stated that “reducing these negative effects requires a robust psychological health plan, including better data collection, reducing stigma-related barriers, and stronger involvement from the chain of command.”
Check out the link to the White House report below. What do you think of the report?
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