Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Report Alerts Pediatricians to Mental Health Needs of Kids of Deployed Military

Pediatricians, both military and civilian, need to be aware of the potential mental health needs of children who have a parent deployed for military service. A clinical report on mental health needs of children in U.S. military families published online yesterday in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics states that the mental health and well-being of spouses, significant others, children (and their friends), and extended family members of deployed service members continues to be significantly challenged by the experiences of wartime deployment as well as by combat mortality and morbidity.

The report, by Benjamin Siegel, M.D., Beth Ellen Davis, M.D., and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health and Section on Uniformed Services, outlines common issues during wartime deployments and discusses how pediatricians can assess family coping skills and provide anticipatory guidance for the typical cycle of deployment. And it addresses how pediatricians can find appropriate resources and know when to refer for specialized services or care.

“Some military families may be at higher risk of distress, especially if they are young, experiencing a first separation, have recently relocated, include a foreign-born spouse, have young children, are junior enlisted (entry pay level), are single parents, or have children with special needs,” the report points out.

The report is online here. For more on this subject see Psychiatric News here.

(Image: naluwan/shutterstock.com)


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.