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24/7/365 Access to Support
No matter where you serve or live, free and confidential help is available.
Call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1, or text 838255.
Contact Military OneSource
Information and support for service members and their families. About the Call Center.
Current as of May 27, 2022
Sometimes life can be challenging for children and teens. Military youth may experience stress from long separations from parents, celebrating holidays and milestones away from loved ones, frequent moves and changing schools. In addition, tragic events in the news, continuing uncertainties related to COVID-19, difficult situations with peers or general frustrations with growing up can also be stressful for children and families.
Children and teens show stress in different ways. Your child may act out, be sad or fearful, or show signs of low self-esteem. To help your child cope with challenges due to the military life style, Military OneSource offers non-medical counseling sessions for children ages 6-17.
What is non-medical counseling?
Non-medical counseling is confidential, short-term, solution-focused counseling provided by counselors with a master’s degree or higher. Some of the issues counselors can provide support for are:
- Self-esteem issues
- Communication and relationships
- Problem-solving and adjustment
- Concerns and fears that arise after tragedies or difficult life situations
- Behavioral issues, such as bullying and anger management
- Changes at home, such as deployment, reunion, divorce and grief
- Feelings of isolation and loneliness
Children and youth services
Children and youth ages 6-17 of active-duty, National Guard or reserve service members, and recently retired or separated service members are eligible for confidential non-medical counseling through Military OneSource.
A parent must attend each session for children age 12 and younger. For youth ages 13-17, a parent must be available at the start of each counseling session to give consent.
Non-medical counseling sessions can happen virtually via online video or phone call. In-person sessions are also available through Military OneSource and with child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors.
Child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors may be available through your installation’s child development center, youth and teen center, on- and off-installation public schools, including Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and at Operation Purple camps.
Conversations in these sessions stay between your child and the counselor. The only exceptions are cases of domestic violence, abuse, and suicidal or homicidal threats. If your child is in immediate crisis, call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, and press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255.
Arranging non-medical counseling for your child
Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to learn whether non-medical counseling is right for your child. If you are outside the continental United States, you can use overseas calling options. You can also schedule a live chat. If a consultant determines the service is appropriate, you will be authorized for up to 12 counseling sessions and connected with a non-medical counselor who best suits your child’s needs.
As a parent, you may want to learn more about How To Cope With a Traumatic Event and Ways To Support Your Children in School. Also, stay informed about COVID-19 updates by checking Military OneSource’s Coronavirus Information for Our Military Community.