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  1. 1. Traumatic Stress in Children and Families Military Families
  2. 2. Acknowledgments MN National Guard & State of MN Ambit Network, University of Minnesota  Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, Executive Director National Child Traumatic Stress Network Implementation Sciences International, Inc.  Marion Forgatch, Ph.D. MN Veterans Medical Center  Melissa Polusney, Ph.D., LP National Institute on Drug & Alcohol Abuse
  3. 3. Overview
  4. 4. Mental Health Post Deployment Most returned soldiers do not meet criteria for mental health diagnoses Estimates of MH diagnoses range from 7-15%  Depression & non-PTSD disorders are most common  When PTSD occurs  severe implications for functioning  PTSD often? Co-occurs with other problems  Does not incrementally decrease quality of life Kehle, Reddy, et al., 2010
  5. 5. Substance Use & Reintegration afterCombat Deployment 36% screened positive for “risky” levels 3 months after their return 30% continued to report drinking at risky levels 1 year later 9% fit criteria for a clinical disorder relating to alcohol (either alcohol abuse or dependence) within the first year of return  From the Readiness and Resilience in National Guard Soldiers (RINGS) Study
  6. 6. Challenges for Service Members
  7. 7. Home… But not at home…
  8. 8. Challenges for Children & Youth
  9. 9. Common Reactions Coping with loss and transition Coping with visible and invisible injuries Feelings of personal blame, guilt, anger, and worry Changes in routines & daily rhythms For those not on a base, feeling like an “outsider” or different
  10. 10. What Do We See? Changes in behavior at home & school  Separation anxiety & confusion  Withdrawal  Anger  Difficulties concentrating  Lower academic performance  Increased risky behaviors Changes in Social Interactions  Social withdrawal or turning to friends  Increased use of social drinking
  11. 11. Challenge as Parent
  12. 12. Self as Person Emotions  Emotional “shut-down” or restriction  Anger  Guilt  Fear of disappointing family and children Behaviors: Fight or Flight….or Escape  Reinforced defensive responses from military training  Increased risk for abusive or violent reactions  Sudden outbursts  Withdraw, Reenlist, Drink/get high/shoot up
  13. 13. Self as Parent Tolerance for chaos, change, being needed, & discipline How do I respond to my child’s needs and emotions? How do I discipline? Can I maintain positive involvement with my child & their social activities?
  14. 14. Resources Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs  C.O.R.E. – Case-management, Outreach, and Education  Minnesota Department of Education: Military Family Resources  ml  Provides resources to Minnesota educators regarding how students may be affected by a parent’s military service Military Child Education Coalation   Ensures quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.
  15. 15. Resources Free on-line tutoring:  Beyond the Yellow Ribbon   Operation Military Kids Speak Out Retreat  Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp  Camp Gratitude  Basecamp  Operation Purple Camp “I really enjoyed hanging out with  Minnesota Military Teen Panel everyone that knows how it feels  Military Teen Adventure Camp to be a military kid. It’s easy to meet people when you have things in common.”
  16. 16. Resources Operation Military Kids  e.aspx?state=Minnesota  Hero Packs  Mobile Technology Labs  Ready, Set, Go! (Hidden Heroes) Training