Talking to Your Teen About Substance Abuse

Father with arm around son

Substance abuse happens everywhere, including on and off military installations. Recent studies indicate that military children have higher rates of drug and alcohol use as well as a higher risk of developing an addiction. There are steps you can take to help reduce your child’s risk for substance abuse.

How can I talk to my teen about substance abuse?

The dangers of teen substance use include impaired driving, future health problems and increased susceptibility to addiction. Here are a few tips to help you discuss drug use with your teen:

  • Talk now. It might seem like your pre-teens are too young for a serious talk about substance abuse, but research shows that it’s not uncommon for children to be offered drugs or alcohol before turning 13.
  • Talk often. Make conversations with your child a regular, frequent practice. The more you talk to your child or teen about all topics, the easier it will be to discuss difficult topics on a regular basis.
  • Embrace honesty. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience with drugs and show your own vulnerability. Sharing your own experiences or being open about any family history can make the conversation more relatable and allow your teen to learn from the past.
  • Talk and listen. A two-way conversation may likely resonate better with your teen. It’s important your child feels comfortable sharing his or her opinions, concerns or questions with you. Also, try discussing serious topics during side-by-side activities, like folding laundry, preparing dinner or driving. These activities take the focus off the teen and place it on the topic at hand.
  • Avoid scare tactics. Focus on real risks for commonly abused substances. For example, discuss how marijuana can affect their performance on sports teams or put them at risk for legal trouble, or how alcohol abuse can lead to addiction and future health problems.
  • Be mindful of tone and word choice. Focus on positive word choices so your teen is less defensive. Use “I” statements to express how certain situations or topics make you feel as a parent versus phrasing sentences involving your teen as “you” statements. For example, begin a sentence with “I’m concerned…” instead of “you should never…” or “you always…”
  • Talk one on one. While it’s important for both of the child’s parents to be on the same page and to be part of the conversations about difficult topics, your teen may feel less threatened talking to one parent at a time.
  • Look for teachable moments. From music lyrics to television or movie characters to news reports, opportunities abound to discuss tough topics and situations and how others did or did not handle the challenges they faced.
  • Get real. Brainstorm scenarios in which your teen may be offered drugs or alcohol and work together to come up with some real ways he or she could handle each situation.
  • Stay involved. As with most difficult topics, it’s best to revisit the topic of drug and alcohol use. Get to know your son or daughter’s friends and their friends’ parents. Stay involved in their social activities.

What warning signs should I look out for?

If you think your teen may be at risk for abusing drugs or alcohol, keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • New friends and different places to hang out
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Withdrawal from or hostility toward family members
  • Unfamiliar smells in the home, car or on the teen’s possessions
  • Unexplained need for money and secrecy about where it goes
  • Alcohol bottles, prescription drug bottles or drug paraphernalia in the teen’s room
  • Changes in physical appearance or personality
  • Sudden changes in school performance

Where can I find more resources?

What should I do if my teen needs help?

Teen substance abuse can be linked to parental use and abuse. If you think you need help or if you’re concerned your teen is abusing substances, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to navigate the path to sobriety. As a member of the military community, you and your family members can receive the necessary inpatient or outpatient treatment through TRICARE. Your primary care manager can provide an appropriate referral. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255.

Put your military community’s resources to work for you and your family. You aren’t in this alone.

Top 10 Ways to Practice Resilience Skills During Challenging Times

Parents playing with baby

Current as of March 24, 2021


Uncertain times like these can present incredible challenges. Normal life has turned upside down because of coronavirus disease 2019, and although progress has been made, no one knows when things will be settled again. Military families are used to uncertainty and challenges and already have skills needed to remain resilient in challenging times. The current COVID-19 situation can be an opportunity to practice your resilience skills and share them with others.

Keep calm with COVID Coach

This app can help you cope with pandemic-related stress. It’s free, secure and recommended by the Department of Defense.

Need More Parenting Resources During COVID-19?

You may be looking for new ideas for managing children at home during the pandemic. Try this updated list of extensive parenting resources.

 

Change and uncertainty can increase stress and anxiety. A healthy dose of concern can help solve problems, but paying too much attention to things we can’t change can leave us feeling powerless and more stressed. Here are 10 things you can do to practice staying strong and build resilience skills to help yourself, your partner, your children and other loved ones:

  • Recognize the situation and validate your feelings. It is normal to feel stressed and worried right now. There is a saying in psychology that “what we resist, persists,” so the best way to begin to address an issue is to face it. Acknowledge that things are uncertain now and know that is OK. If you are not worried or anxious, that’s fine too. Everyone deals with stress in different ways, and the most important thing is to validate whatever you are feeling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers information on managing stress during the outbreak. If you want to talk to a professional, free, confidential non-medical counseling is available through Military OneSource.
  • Talk to your children. It’s especially important to talk to children now, because even if they aren’t saying anything, they may have questions and concerns they don’t know how to voice. Talk to them in an age-appropriate manner about COVID-19 and make sure to acknowledge their feelings.
  • Follow accurate information about the virus. Make sure you are doing the things you can to stay safe and healthy while staying at home and explain those things to your family. Continue to check the Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page for the latest information.
  • Try to view the current social situation as a challenge rather than an insurmountable problem. Yes, times are difficult right now, but things will get better again.
  • Maintain routines as much as possible. Paying attention to things you can control helps to decrease anxiety and increase a sense of personal effectiveness.
  • Limit media exposure. Stay updated on health and safety measures, but try not to tune in 24/7. Constant media viewing can increase stress and anxiety. Choose one or two reliable news sources and schedule regular times to check updates. Make time for positive input as well. Try searching online for good things that have come out of the current social situation. You might be surprised at what you find.
  • Stay connected. Talk to your spouse, your children and extended family. Military spouses usually have a strong, established virtual support network. This could be a time where you help others develop similar connections.
  • Practice positive thinking. When you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts or worrying excessively, stop and count 10 things that make you feel grateful. Starting a gratitude journal can be a powerful daily practice, and is also something that is easy to do with children to get them to practice positive thinking skills. For more ideas, check out these resilience resources from Military OneSource.
  • Help others. Research shows that helping others decreases anxiety and builds resiliency. Search online for things people are doing during COVID-19 to help others. Have your kids draw pictures and text them to grandparents. Bring groceries to an elderly neighbor who can’t get out. Have your teenager organize a video dance party or put together a playlist for family dance time. You can also search online for organizations that are helping deployed service members and veterans, and find some way to get involved.
  • Take care of yourself and seek help if you need it. Make sure you are practicing good self-care, and addressing all five pillars of wellness. Turn off the TV. Listen to music. Get outside and take a walk. Check out these other tips for managing stress. Everyone needs a hand now and then, and the Department of Defense offers a variety of programs and services to keep service members and their families healthy and strong.

This is a challenging time, but you have tools and resources to help you stay strong. Understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly changing. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms. For Department of Defense updates for the military community, visit Defense.gov, follow Military OneSource’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram platforms, and continue to check the Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page.

Download the Chill Drills by Military OneSource app:

Keep calmness close by with the Chill Drills app, available for free download and use anytime.

Google Play Store Apple App Store

 

Staying Healthy During COVID-19

Service member with face mask



Current as of April 16, 2021


It’s normal to cut corners when engaging in everyday activities, especially when you’re comfortable with the task. But to avoid putting yourself and your family at risk during coronavirus disease 2019, examine your habits to make sure you’re not cutting corners on your health.

Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to your habits during this time is to avoid spreading germs.

Keep calm with COVID Coach

This app can help you cope with pandemic-related stress. It’s free, secure and recommended by the Department of Defense.

For specific guidance on everything from personal hygiene to keeping your home clean and avoiding contact with others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a great resource.

But maintaining good health during the COVID-19 pandemic means following guidance for covering your face in public and considering paying extra attention to your eating habits, exercise and personal schedule.

With that in mind, here are some other things to consider:

Wear cloth face coverings outside your home

Military personnel, families and supporting civilian members serve as role models during extremely challenging times. One way you can do this now is to take steps to protect yourself and others whenever you go out.

The Department of Defense requires face coverings and social distancing on installations and for those performing official duties outside the home. Follow the CDC’s guidance for wearing cloth face coverings and for social distancing at all other times as well. These practices can slow the spread of the virus and help people who may unknowingly have it from transmitting it to others. The CDC recommends masks for adults and children ages 2 and up that:

  • Are non-medical and disposable
  • Are made with breathable or tightly-woven fabric
  • Have two or three layers
  • Include a filter pocket

The DOD does not authorize the use of novelty masks, masks with ventilation valves or face shields.

Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing your face covering. Wash your hands as soon as you finish.

Be good to your body

Keep yourself healthy with the following activities:

  • Get moving. Reach out to a Military OneSource health and wellness coach to develop an exercise plan just for you with the equipment you have at home. You can make an appointment for a phone, online or video session by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.
  • Keep your bedtime the same. It’s tempting to binge watch your favorite shows late into the night if you are not currently reporting to work or if you are working from home, but resist that urge. Sleep helps restore and relax your mind and body. A good sleep routine keeps you healthy.
  • Eat regular, nutritious meals with your family. Teach your children how to stay healthy by choosing healthy meals. Show them how to plan a meal, cook it, set the table and clean up after. Family meals are a great time to bond and get to know each other better, not to mention staying healthy.
  • Order medications online. Order your medications online to avoid contact with people who may have the virus. Here’s how to get home delivery for medications under TRICARE.

Be kind to your mind

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Here are a few ways to stay informed with updates on safety while keeping current events in perspective.

  • Engage your mind in your favorite activities. During the quarantine, make sure you are scheduling time for yourself to participate in the activities you enjoy the most. Whatever your thing is — reading a book, painting, playing an instrument or streaming your favorite music, dancing, writing, singing, etc. — do it, enjoy it and you’ll feel better for it.
  • Avoid information overload. Watching or reading too much negative news can increase anxiety. Instead, limit the time you take in negative news and use the extra time to fill yourself with something positive like writing down all you are grateful for or using these other tips for emotional wellness.
  • Practice self-care. Plug into tools to help you de-stress and take care of yourself. The Defense Health Agency recommends several: Breathe2Relax trains you on deep-breathing techniques and is among several you’ll find on the Military OneSource Recommended Wellness Apps page. The Military Meditation Coach podcast provides relaxation exercises and tips for well-being.
  • Help others and ask for help when you need it. Helping others will bring you happiness. Consider surprising a neighbor by doing their yard work or leave groceries on their porch (while keeping your social distance). Ask for help if you or your family need it; Military OneSource confidential, non-medical counselors are here for you. If you or a family member are having suicidal thoughts, call the Military Crisis line at 800-273-8255, press 1; text to 838255; or start a confidential chat.If you find yourself in a dangerous, abusive situation, contact command, the Family Advocacy Program or law enforcement. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 911. Except in select circumstances, you have the option of making either a restricted or unrestricted report of domestic abuse. Both options allow access to victim advocacy services, which include personal help and support.
  • Seek reliable information. Look for sites that provide factual and frequently updated information such as the CDC.

Stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19. For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19, view the following sites:

Taking Care of Yourself During Times of Stress and Grief

Woman relaxing at home

Everybody has periods of difficulty, when stress and grief build up and make everything seem harder. Caring about someone in the military can add another layer of stress and grief. You may be concerned about your service member’s health and safety when you are apart. You may miss being together. When stress doesn’t let up, it can affect your overall well-being.

It’s important to acknowledge your stress or grief so you can take steps to address it. Taking care of your emotional well-being will keep you strong for your service member and the other people you love.

How to overcome stress

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by things outside our control, like a service member’s deployment. A good first step is to focus on what you can control.

Sometimes we can’t do anything to change a situation and the only option is to learn to accept it. When you recognize the signs of anxiety or stress in yourself, try the following:

  • Take a break. Turn off the news, put down your phone, stop what you’re doing.
  • Breathe deeply. Sit still or lie down. Place one hand on your stomach and the other hand over your heart. Inhale slowly through your nose until you feel your stomach rise. Hold your breath for a moment, then exhale slowly through your mouth while your stomach falls.
  • Take a brisk walk. The combination of physical activity and fresh air can be a powerful stress reducer.

Practice self-care every day

Practicing healthy habits can improve overall well-being. Be sure to:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid processed foods and drink plenty of water.
  • Get enough sleep. Most adults need seven or more hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble sleeping, make sure your room is cool and dark. Turn your phone and television off before getting into bed. Get out of bed first thing upon waking, and don’t get back in until you’re ready for sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. Do something you enjoy, like running, dancing or shooting hoops. Whatever you do, aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five times per week.

Self-care resources

Military OneSource offers free tools and resources to help service members and their families manage stress.

  • Chill Drills: are audio tracks developed to help service members and their families relax and manage stress. By doing these drills regularly, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce the level of stress hormones in your body. Download the free app today and take Chill Drills with you on the go.

    Find the following resources and more on the Recommended Wellness Apps page.
  • Breathe2Relax: This app offers deep-breathing techniques to relax and unwind. Use it on the go to tap into your breathing.
  • Virtual Hope Box: This app includes personalized tools to help you cope, relax, avoid distractions and connect to others. There’s plenty here to help you learn how to handle stress and anxiety during self-care breaks.

The Defense Health Agency also recommends the following podcast:

  • Military Meditation Coach: This podcast offers relaxation exercises and tips to keep your mental health on track. Tune in during your self-care breaks to relax and clear your mind.
  • For more ideas on practicing self-care, check out these articles on Military OneSource:

    If larger issues outside of your control, such as national or world events, bring you stress, chances are your service member is affected by them, too. Check in to see if your service member needs your support. And continue to take care of yourself, because when you give yourself the gift of self-care, your loved ones benefit as well.

    Download the Chill Drills by Military OneSource app.

    Keep calmness close by with simple audio drills designed for the military community to help manage stress.

     

De-Stress and Relax With Chill Drills by Military OneSource

service member using app

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to pause for a moment to refresh and recharge. Chill Drills by Military OneSource allows you to do that by lowering your stress level wherever you are, whenever you need.

Chill Drills is a collection of simple audio mindfulness exercises to relax the body and mind. The Department of Defense developed these relaxation exercises for the military community and are free to service members and their families via the mobile app or the Military OneSource website.

Download the Chill Drills by Military OneSource app:

Google Play Store Apple App Store

 

About Chill Drills by Military OneSource

Chill Drills by Military OneSource is presented by Heidi J. Bauer, MSW, LCSW, a therapist who works with service members and their families. She developed these guided drills to help create calm by slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and reducing the level of stress hormone in the body.

While each drill was designed to help calm your mind and relax your body, some target common challenges, including back pain, negative thoughts and sleeplessness. Practice your favorite drills regularly to lower your baseline stress level and be better prepared to deal with pressure in the future. The six Chill Drills segments are:

Where to find Chill Drills by Military OneSource

Chill Drills by Military OneSource is available on Google Play and the App Store. Install the app on your mobile device where one touch can take you to expert stress-relieving techniques, anytime, no internet access needed. You can also listen to Chill Drills on the Military OneSource website, or order a playaway portable media player through the website.

The Chill Drills app is available through Military OneSource, a Department of Defense-funded program that connects the military community to the resources they need to be well, mission-ready and thrive in MilLife, from relocation planning and tax services to confidential, non-medical counseling and spouse employment. Service members and the families of active duty, National Guard and reserve (regardless of activation status), Coast Guard members when activated for the Navy, DOD expeditionary civilians, and survivors are eligible for Military OneSource services, which are available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free to the user.

Download the Chill Drills by Military OneSource app:

Google Play Store Apple App Store

Course Provides Path to Creating a More Inclusive Culture Within MWR Programs and Services

American Flag

Your goal as a morale, welfare and recreation professional, service provider or leader is to create and maintain programs and services that meet the needs of as many people as possible.

A new MilLife Learning course titled, “Operating in an Inclusive Culture,” can help you do just that by addressing the needs and challenges faced by people with disabilities, and showing you how to provide opportunities for individuals with varying abilities and skills to participate together.

MilLife Learning Course on Inclusiveness

Take this course to learn the importance and benefits of reaching individuals with disabilities.

This course examines the barriers these individuals face and their specific needs across a wide range of disabilities. It also explains the benefits and incentives for including those customers. These may include:

  • Involving more community members in social and recreational activities, which among other benefits may result in a reduced demand for medical and psychological services
  • Fostering more community acceptance of individuals with disabilities
  • Ensuring that your programs are in compliance with the laws of the land
  • Enriching the culture of your programs with personalities and experiences of people who could not participate previously

There also could be a financial gain through increasing the numbers of people participating in recreational activities.

The course also:

  • Provides supplemental resource documents, including a broad list of links to contact information, samples of more inclusive registration forms and a sample of an inclusive welcoming document for MWR programs
  • Offers guidance on ways to feel more comfortable talking to individuals about their disabilities
  • Outlines disability-related legislation and requirements for providing inclusive MWR programs and services
  • Contains details about the Department of Defense’s goals for serving participants with differing abilities

Additional course details

This 2½-hour course employs an interactive audio and video multimedia approach and includes six units, designed to be taken sequentially, with each unit building on the previous one. Transcripts are also available. Certification requires the completion of all six units.

You will learn about the wide spectrum of disabilities, including a focus on:

  • Amputees
  • Brain injuries
  • Visual or hearing impairments
  • Spinal cord injuries

You will also hear about some of the myths and truths surrounding people with disabilities and learn what language to avoid when interacting with those individuals.

You don’t have to be an MWR professional, service provider or leader to take this course. It can also be of value to service members wanting to learn more about inclusiveness and the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.

Areas of focus that may be of interest to all service-connected individuals include the risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder, how it affects a person and the challenges it may bring. The use of and need for service animals is also discussed.

Take the course today

Make yourself better informed and ensure that your program staff is prepared to meet the needs of all participants by signing up for this free course. Click on “Create an Account” if you are a new user; no common access card or External Certification Authorities are needed.

Once you are registered, or if you are a returning user, log in and click “Launch Course” to begin.

Getting Help for Combat Stress

Guardsmen with dog

Learning to recognize the signs of combat stress in yourself, another service member or a family member who has returned from a war zone can help you call on the right resources to begin the healing process.

Combat stress and stress injuries

Combat stress is the natural response of the body and brain to the stressors of combat, traumatic experiences and the wear and tear of extended and demanding operations. Although there are many causes and signs of combat stress, certain key symptoms are common in most cases:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Uncharacteristic irritability or angry outbursts
  • Unusual anxiety or panic attacks
  • Signs of depression such as apathy, changes in appetite, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, or poor hygiene
  • Physical symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, nausea, diarrhea or constipation
  • Other changes in behavior, personality or thinking

Combat stress sometimes leads to stress injuries, which can cause physical changes to the brain that alter the way it processes information and handles stress. You should be aware of the following when dealing with a stress injury:

  • Stress injuries can change the way a person functions mentally, emotionally, behaviorally and physically.
  • The likelihood of having a combat stress injury rises as combat exposure increases.
  • The earlier you identify the signs of a stress injury, the faster a full recovery can occur.
  • If left untreated, a stress injury may develop into more chronic and hard-to-treat problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • There is no guaranteed way to prevent or protect yourself from a stress injury, but there are things you can do to help yourself and others recover.

Stress reactions

Different people handle stress — and combat stress — differently, and it’s not clear why one person may have a more severe reaction than another. Here’s what you need to know about stress reactions:

  • Stress reactions can last from a few days to a few weeks to as long as a year.
  • Delayed stress reactions can surface long after a traumatic incident or extended exposure to difficult conditions has occurred.
  • An inability to adapt to everyday life after returning from deployment can be a reaction to combat stress.

How to get help

If you or someone you know is suffering from a combat stress injury, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible. Reach out to one of the following resources if you have symptoms of combat stress or stress injury, or if you are experiencing severe stress reactions:

  • Combat Stress Control Teams provide on-site support during deployment.
  • Your unit chaplain may offer counseling and guidance on many issues that affect deployed or returning service members and their families.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs has readjustment counseling for combat veterans and their families, including those still on active duty, at community-based Vet Centers.
  • TRICARE provides medical counseling services either at a military treatment facility or through a network provider in your area. Contact your primary care manager or your regional TRICARE office for a referral.
  • The Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence provides free resources on traumatic brain injury to help service members, veterans, family members and health care providers. Resources include educational materials, fact sheets, clinical recommendations and much more.
  • Veterans Crisis Line offers confidential support 24/7/365 and is staffed by qualified responders from the Department of Veterans Affairs — some of whom have served in the military themselves. Call 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting to 838255.
  • Non-military support channels such as community-based or religious programs can offer guidance and help in your recovery.

If you are suffering from combat stress, you are not alone. Reach out to get the help and treatment you need to be able to live your life fully.

Psychological Health Program Lookup

service members drop from helicopter.

The Psychological Health Program supports National Guard members and their families with any psychological health need. Psychological health directors in each state are also able to respond to training requests and critical incidents, and provide unit briefings and consultations.

Use the lookup function below to type in your state and search for the Psychological Health Program near you.

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Staying Safe While Staying Healthy: Tips for Military Families

Two young girls cooking in a kitchen

Current as of Sept. 25, 2020


The Department of Defense is committed to keeping you and your family safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. The coronavirus pandemic is no exception.

During this uncertain and unpredictable time, there are ways to promote the safety, health, and well-being of yourself, your spouse or partner, and your children — even if your family unit is feeling tested or strained. Emergencies, unexpected events and disruptions to our workplace and home can increase stress and put added pressure on our family and personal relationships. You may have increased anxiety about the health and safety of family members who are deployed, or worried about older parents who live far away.

To reduce the threat of COVID-19, we have all been asked to modify our habits and activities. If self-quarantine and social distancing have made you or your children feel anxious, stressed or even depressed, know that you are not alone. There are practices you can take to reduce your stress, increase your safety, and still allow your connections with friends, loved ones and your community to thrive.

Need More Parenting Resources During COVID-19?

You may be looking for new ideas for managing children at home during the pandemic. Try this updated list of extensive parenting resources.

Maintain your daily routine.

For the mental wellness of both you and your children, it is a good idea to stick to your usual routine as much as possible while homebound.

Going to bed and getting up in the morning at your normal time, sharing meals as a family, and sticking to an exercise regime you can do indoors or outside on your own, or with your kids or partner, are all ways to stay resilient. Sticking to a routine is also especially nurturing for young children.

Learn about creating and maintaining routines »

Take steps to promote child safety in the home.

If you have made the decision to self-quarantine, your family may not be used to being home together at all times.

To reduce risk of accidents or injuries to your children, take care to make sure any dangerous or potentially deadly items are safely stored, locked, and inaccessible to children. These items may include certain medications, chemical detergents or bleaches used for cleaning (for especially young children) or firearms.

Get tips on safe firearm storage from the Defense Suicide Prevention Office »

This is a new and frightening time for all of us, kids and adults alike.

There are ways to communicate the seriousness of the pandemic to your children, while taking care not to alarm them. Child development experts have recommendations for how you approach this conversation with your children.

Get recommendations for conversations about COVID-19 with your children »

Remember the importance of self-care.

Taking time to create daily rituals for yourself is a vital strategy to preserve and strengthen your mental health during this challenging time.

Self-care is unique to you, whether that’s a quiet bath, a jog, or even video-chatting with friends and loved ones. By making your well-being a priority, you are building the resilience you need to guide your kids and your family through this period.

Read about the pillars of wellness »

Talk to someone.

It is normal to feel scared and lonely during this time, even while at home surrounded by your children. You can strengthen your coping skills by taking advantage of Building Healthy Relationships specialty consultations that can help with communication, relationships and so much more.
If you are feeling hopeless or disconnected, there are a number of options for you to speak with someone who can help. A great first step is Military OneSource, where you can speak with a confidential, non-medical counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Military OneSource counselors are available to talk with you about any concern, big or small, and can also connect you with other helping professionals, like the Family Advocacy Program.

Learn more about confidential, non-medical counseling »

Seek help.

If self-quarantine and social distancing have made you or your children feel less safe, know that you are not alone.

If you are quarantined with a spouse or partner who threatens, intimidates you, or makes you feel afraid, call your installation’s Family Advocacy Program. Family Advocacy Program staff can help you think through ways to stay safe while staying at home, or plan to stay with a friend or family member.

Learn more about the Family Advocacy Program »

You may wish to consult the tips from the National Domestic Violence Hotline regarding COVID-19, or call 800-799-7233 to speak with an advocate, or chat with someone at thehotline.org.

The coronavirus national emergency and global pandemic is causing difficulty and uncertainty for everyone. The military community will get through this challenge together, and the Department of Defense and Military OneSource are standing by to help.

For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19:

For PCS-related updates, check Move.mil »