The Bob Woodruff Foundation Highlights Issues, Challenges Related to Military Children’s Mental Health
Recognizing the seriousness of military children’s mental health issues and the importance of addressing them, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has published a related issue brief: “Stand SMART for Heroes: Spotlight on Military Children’s Mental Health.” In fact, 43 percent of military families rated at least one their children’s mental health as “fair,” “poor”, or “very poor,” in a recent survey. In the issue brief, the Bob Woodruff Foundation highlights the:
- extent of children’s mental health issues nationwide, and specific to military and veteran children.
- unique challenges that impact military and veteran children’s mental health.
- actions that community-based mental health services’ providers and funders can take to transform care.
“Recently, we’ve seen an increase in mental health challenges among military children. Our Foundation has defined this issue as a priority area. While our military children are resilient, they also face unique challenges that can impact their mental health. These include frequent moves, deployments, and the prospect or actuality of losing a parent,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “In our Spotlight on Military Children’s Mental Health, using existing research, we’ve quantified the extent of the issue. With an eye on solutions, we’ve also identified areas where public, private, and nonprofit organizations can collaborate. The goal is to improve how mental health for military-connected children is understood, accessed, and treated.”
Not only do children in in military and veteran families face service-related stressors that compound mental health challenges, they’re also more likely than their civilian peers to experience financial or housing instability, and food shortages; and to have parents or caregivers who are frontline workers. These risk factors can also contribute to poor mental health. In 2022, the Foundation pledged to invest $1 Million in military children’s mental health. The Spotlight on Military Children’s Mental Health is part of that initiative.
Learn more about issues surrounding military and veteran children’s mental health and the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s recommendations to address them.
About The Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, BWF has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans, including mental health, caregiver support, food insecurity, and service-connected fertility issues. To date, BWF has invested over $124 million to ensure that our nation’s veterans, service members and their families have stable and successful futures. For more information, visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org.